We recently learned that Minecraft: Pocket Edition for Windows Phone 8.1 devices will no longer receive updates, initially dashing hopes of us being able to take our Windows 10 Realms beyond our PCs and tablets. Thankfully, we have learned that Microsoft was working on a Windows 10 Mobile version all along.
Say hi to Minecraft: Pocket Edition for Windows 10 Mobile!
Minecraft: Pocket Edition for Windows 10 Mobile will launch today, bringing with it the latest Pocket Edition features, including the coveted Ender Update for mobile devices. Additionally, Minecraft: Pocket Edition for Windows 10 Mobile will bring dedicated Realm support to Windows phones for the first time. If that wasn't enough, Minecraft: PE will also include a ton of Xbox Live achievements.
While Minecraft: Pocket Edition for Windows 10 Mobile is a different platform to the Windows 10 Edition and the Windows Phone version, those of you who already own the Windows Phone 8.1 version of Pocket Edition will be able to upgrade for free right here.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition Q&A
To learn more about Minecraft: Pocket Edition for Windows 10 Mobile, we caught up with Minecraft: Pocket Edition's Executive Producer Jesse Merriam!
Jez Corden: Moving forward, can we expect Windows 10 Pocket Edition to receive the same updates as Windows 10 Edition on PC?
Jesse Merriam: Yes!
Jez: Will Minecraft PE on W10M support the Xbox One S Bluetooth controller?
Jesse: Absolutely. I love playing with my Xbox One S Bluetooth controller.
Jez: Can we expect that Minecraft PE on W10M support add-ons, as seen with the W10, iOS and Android versions of the game?
Jesse: Unequivocally yes. Windows 10 Mobile supports all core Windows 10 and Pocket Edition features, including add-ons. Bring on the chairs!
Jez: Will Minecraft PE and Windows 10 Realms eventually connect to Realms on Xbox One for true cross-play capabilities?
Jesse: We haven't yet been specific about how Realms are coming to console, but we value bringing the Minecraft community together and were too are excited about the future. For now, you can rest assured that Realms players on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Gear VR and Oculus Rift can all play in Realms together and as you learned today, the list just keeps growing!**
Jez: So we presume that Minecraft PE players on W10M can connect to Realms and play with friends on iOS, Android, W10, etc. as of today?
Jesse: Yep. Party time. Everyone plays together on iOS, Android, and W10.
Jez: Will Minecraft PE on W10M support Xbox achievements? If so, how many points (and are they separate from W10 version?)
Jesse: Yes! We are so stoked for this. Check out Windows 10 Edition; Windows 10 mobile on Pocket Edition will have all the same achievements (currently 72 of them for a total of 1550 points). But because it's a new platform, you will be able to unlock them over again. Go Gamerscore!
Jez: Are there any hardware restrictions for the W10M version of Minecraft PE? Such as RAM, etc.
Jez: Any plans to support Continuum on the W10M version for those of us with monitor docks and phones like the HP Elite x3?
Jesse: We haven't announced anything yet, but we are super geeky, and we also have some pretty cool devices and docks we play with. Anything can happen. I wonder if we will do it or if someone's add-on will beat us to it?
Jez: This is more for Microsoft Studios, but are you guys working on any other first party W10M games that you can tease right now? Minecraft PE is very encouraging.
Jesse: Always stay tuned for exciting announcements on all our premier platforms.
Jez: Finally, will I ever be able to travel into space in Minecraft?
Jesse: You can travel to space today, just create an add-on for it! The vanilla survival experience is always growing and evolving based on exciting ideas from the team and things we notice have become broadly adopted by the community.
Huge thanks to Jesse Merriam and Microsoft for speaking with us!
While it's a shame that Windows Phone 8.1 users won't receive further updates for Minecraft Pocket Edition, it's encouraging to see Microsoft continue with their support of Windows 10 Mobile.
Minecraft continues to be a global phenomenon for Microsoft, inspiring an entire generation of gamers. The addition of Minecraft's Addons has the potential to introduce programming logic to millions of youngsters for the first time, as Microsoft looks to gaming to inspire the next generation of coders.
UWP should ensure Windows 10 Mobile users don't get left out in the cold in the future, and we can only hope that Minecraft: PE arriving on Windows 10 Mobile is a sign of things to come moving forward.
On Thursday, we'll give away TEN keys for the Windows 10 Mobile version of Minecraft live on our Thursday Beam stream. Head on over and follow our Beam channel and enable email notifications to be informed when we go live!
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!