If you never heard about Minecraft, you probably lived in a cave for the last few years. This is the same game with an open world where the whole world is made of cubes with pixel textures. Also you’ve probably heard about AR or augmented reality, application is possible using only your smartphone’s camera. Microsoftapparently believes that the AR applications of the future, otherwise, how else can you explain the announcement of the game Minecraft Earth.
In General, AR on mobile devices can have great potential, but judging by the fact that while really popular AR apps are only games, the most potential has not yet been disclosed. Pokémon Go is perhaps the most frequently mentioned AR application, but, as already mentioned, the game, which is not so significant, as we usually expect from a disruptive technology. And there are some small apps for shopping (IKEA, for example) or for education, but none of them still made a great contribution to mass consciousness.
At first glance, the Minecraft Earth is a little bit like Pokémon Go, given that it kind of requires you to determine the user’s location. But here lies a little more potential than it may seem at first glance. Players will be able to build any structures directly on the tables in their rooms alone or together with others, and then when they are ready, go and place them in life-size on the outside. You, as a player, will be able to collect new resources around you to use them in the construction of their buildings, and fight with mobs in full size. In fact, it’s the same gameplay that we used to see in Minecraft, but transferred to augmented reality with the geolocation.
Microsoft has acquired Minecraft from its Creator in 2014 and since then sought to turn it into family, educational gaming and creative centre. Interestingly, the company previously demonstrated an AR version of Minecraft on the gaming conference E3, using the platform HoloLens AR. This platform is still under development, but it seems that the games for it, probably not, because the HoloLens focused on commercial and professional, not the consumer segment.
Minecraft Earth works on Azure PlayFab platform, used by various game developers for multiplayer games. According to Devindra Hardawar (Devindra Hardawar) from Engadget, who were able to play a new Minecraft game “is based on the appearance of the environment for basic cartographic data, as well as the spatial reference from Azure database to track all players”. In addition, Windows Central described the various elements of the gameplay.
Microsoft claims that the limited beta test will begin this summer, but did not say when will be the public launch. Also in its FAQ, the company explained that the Minecraft Earth is a free game on both iOS and Android, and without any luchboxes.
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