Release Date: Graphics Pack Fall 2017, Better Together Update Summer 2017
Platform: Xbox, Xbox X, Switch, Mobile (iOs and Android), Windows 10, and VR
Minecraft had two big announcements in their video revealed for E3. First, they are putting out a “Better Together” update. This was revealed in the first portion of their trailer which opens with one of the Minecraft landscapes with the words “Coming this Summer” in pixelated letters. The camera zooms forward and the next landscape has the words “Community Marketplace”. What Minecraft is revealing with this trailer is that this summer Minecraft will be available for Crossplay as the game is being unified. Now gamers can play across several consoles and platforms. These include; Xbox, Xbox X, Switch, Mobile (iOs and Android), Windows 10, and VR. Unfortunately, it appears the PlayStation 4 is not a console that will be included in the crossplay program.
The second announcement is revealed in the trailer as the camera zooms into a tunnel and the screen goes dark. A moment later the camera emerges in the Minecraft world, with a vastly different look. Coming this fall there will be DLC called the Minecraft Super Duper Graphics Pack which will be available on Xbox One, and Windows 10. This DLC brings Minecraft into 4k, and while the pixelated aesthetic of Minecraft remain, the visual elements of the game are significantly upgraded. The way they are incorporating the quintessential Minecraft look while integrating 4K is accomplished with lighting and shadowing. The sky alone in the first look at the Super Duper Graphics Pack demonstrates the change. Sunlight is streaming through a light fog over the ground while clouds above maintain their pixelated shape. The trees below still look pixelated, but they are much smaller squares and have a more refined look. As the camera and the characters move there is a significant amount of shadowing that go along also giving the game a vastly different and richer look. With the level of detail, to get the most out of the Minecraft Super Duper Graphics Pack, you would need to have an Xbox One or a higher quality computer that is equipped for this level of graphics. For those gamers who are ready to change up the Minecraft aesthetic, and have the 4K level computer or Xbox One, this is the perfect DLC.