When Microsoft bought Minecraft-maker Mojang for a boatload of money, many people -- myself included -- were perplexed by the move. Don't get me wrong, it is a wildly popular game which has much value, but it didn't seem to fit with the company's goals. HoloLens, however, made the world collectively understand the Minecraft purchase and vision.
Today, on this United States Independence Day, Microsoft makes a huge announcement regarding the blocky game. Timed to coincide with the July 29th new operating system launch, comes Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta. Holy macaroni, the 29th will be like Christmas in July!
"Players who already have the PC edition of Minecraft will be able to download the Windows 10 beta version free. Others can download Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition at a discounted price of $10 throughout the beta period. Players who download Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition during the beta phase will still have the game when it comes out of beta, and receive all future updates to the game at no additional cost", says Owen Hill, Chief Word Officer at Mojang.
Hill shares the following highlights for the upcoming beta.
- Craft, create, and explore online with up to seven friends playing Windows 10 Edition Beta, through local multiplayer or with your Xbox Live friends online
- Play online and local multiplayer with other Pocket Edition players thanks to a free update, due to arrive soon after launch.
- Support for multiple inputs -- switch between controller, touch, and keyboard controls with little to no effort.
- Record and share gameplay highlights with built-in GameDVR
- Help shape the future of Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta with built-in player feedback mechanisms
- Chickens, zombies, pigs, boats, armed skeletons, potatoes, zombies, baby squids, enchantment tables, villagers, naked sheep, iron golems, potions, ghasts, pickaxes, carrots, and all the weird and wonderful goodness you've come to expect from Minecraft
As someone who has yet to try the game, I will most certainly part with $10 when the beta launches. Since Microsoft promises it will convert to a full-licence after the beta, it is an affordable way to own the game. After all, it is normally $26.95 for the desktop version.
Best of all, users will be able to provide feedback during the beta, which will ultimately impact the development. The Windows Insider program has been a huge win for Microsoft, and Windows 10 will certainly be a better operating system as a result. So too should Minecraft.
Are you excited for Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta? Tell me your thoughts in the comments.