The newly updated Windows 10 version of Mojang’s creative construction sim Minecraft now allows players to team up with local friends who own copies of Minecraft: Pocket Edition for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices.
Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta now supports cross-platform local multiplayer, letting users within the same household join five-player sessions across Windows 10 PCs and mobile devices. Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta also supports same-platform online multiplayer over Xbox Live.
Mobile players in particular will discover a wealth of new features in Minecraft‘s latest version, which Microsoft describes as “the biggest update for Minecraft: Pocket Edition to date.” New and expanded features for mobile users include new craftable items, potions, and equipment, along with new monsters like golems and ocelots.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition additionally boasts redesigned touch controls and controller support via a new controller mapping screen. Weather effects introduced in the Windows 10 version of Minecraft, including directional rain and accumulating snow, have also made the trip over to Pocket Edition. Players are now able sprint and sneak starting with today’s Minecraft: Pocket Edition update, and mobile users can finally explore Minecraft‘s endgame area, the Nether.
This week’s cross-platform expansion follows up on Microsoft’s purchase of Minecraft and its creator Mojang in 2014. The buyout saw the departure of Mojang studio founder Markus “Notch” Persson later that year.
In the months following Microsoft’s acquisition, Minecraft landed on Windows Phone platforms, and a revamped Windows 10 edition launched in beta form in July. Microsoft has also used the popular game to demonstrate its in-development smart glasses headset Microsoft HoloLens.
Though Minecraft‘s core premise consists of free-form gameplay, Mojang plans to roll out a narrative-focused Story Mode for its game in the coming months. Developed by acclaimed adventure game developer Telltale Games, Minecraft: Story Mode is expected to launch as soon as the holiday season of 2015.
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