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The Future of Minecraft on Next-Gen Consoles

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avatar anonym_bulba
Level 24 : Expert Pokemon
33
Hello, everyone.

To start off, I've been inactive for quite a while now, and maybe that'll change now that school's out. Maybe. I'm going to ease back into PMC with a quick blog. This is going to be part news, part speculation, and the rest will be wishful thinking.

As anyone who has paid attention to E3 these past few days knows, Minecraft has been confirmed for the Xbox One. The trailer made some vague statements about "Bigger Worlds" and "More Players," I'm going to assume this means 12-16 players and worlds up to 9x the size of Xbox 360 Minecraft worlds (which are 1 map large). It has been stated that once Minecraft is up-to-date with the PC version, those two versions are going to get different features and eventually become almost different games. It's my guess that this parting of the ways will begin with the release of Minecraft on the Xbox One. Of course, we've already seen a few small differences, most noticeably the Ender Dragon spewing acid onto players in the 360 edition.

Of course, I have some concerns, mainly the Xbox One's DRM policies. As far as internet hate goes, the X1 is getting a lot of it. While I believe that the X1's DRM (Digital Rights/ Restrictions Management, depending where you fit on the scale of cynicism and naivety) is not as oppressive and draconian as many have suggested, it is certainly not optimal. In my mind, the one fix would be the ability to play games offline with disc-in-tray verification. I'm not sure how that would mess with how Xbox One uses the cloud for some of its processing, but if the cloud were necessary, the X1 would be truly always-online, forgoing even the meager 24-hour limit.

What I immediately wondered, after seeing the announcement, is whether Minecraft would also be available on the PS4, the console I plan to buy this generation (initially, anyways, I'm not made of money.) Mojang's very own Jeb has confirmed that a PS version of Minecraft is being considered, for when Microsoft's exclusivity deal runs out (at an unspecified time.) He also stated that a Wii U version is unlikely, which saddens me. I do not own a Wii U, but I wonder what it would be like to use the Gamepad's touchscreen to craft and manage my inventory, or even play minigames for things like taming wolves and farming. This feels like a missed opportunity. This is not just a business decision, the Wii U's hardware is unlikely to be able to handle the task of running Minecraft. Of course, third-party support for the Wii U is negligible, but a game like Minecraft on that platform would surely increase revenue.

Okay, here's where I'm going to go into my ideas for what Minecraft's future on consoles should be like. I've had a couple of ideas gathering dust like diamonds in my cavernous mind, so here goes. I think the two things that irritate me about the Xbox 360 edition of Minecraft is that there is no support for user-made skins or mods. Of course, I'm sure that if user-made skins were allowed, every immature kid would be walking around looking like a giant, walking [REDACTED]. However, if users could submit their skins to moderators for verification, that would solve that problem. Considering this, though, the game would need another way to generate additional revenue, to support the continued development of the game. I guess Xbox Live subscriptions sort of do this, as they fund the servers the game runs on, but I have a different idea in mind. What if companies who develop other games could create mods that include features from their games? Think of a CoD, GoW, or Halo mod, with guns, vehicles, and enemies from those series, or a Valve-made mod featuring physics simulation, and the Portal and Gravity guns. These mods could be bought from the Xbox Marketplace or the PSN (hopefully.) Developers could offer early access to MC mods for those who per-order their games. An advantage to this would be that devs would be able to update their mods regularly, unlike people on the internet, who have, you know, lives and stuff.

How many of you would consider that a fair trade-off? Skins would be free, and mods would have to be purchased. I think it's an improvement from the current model, but not ideal when compared to the PC version.

Here are some articles I've used as sources, I encourage you to go look at them.
(But don't forget to diamond, fav, or comment before you do so.) :P

http://www.edge-online.com/news/minecraft-on-playstation-being-considered-wii-u-version-very-unlikely/
http://news.xbox.com/2013/06/e3-minecraft-trailer
http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06/06/microsoft-details-xbox-one-used-games-always-online
CreditEdge Online, Xbox.com, IGN (for articles), extremetech.com (for pic)
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Update #1 : 06/15/2013 3:33:01 pmJun 15th, 2013

changed caption for pic, moved source to additional credit

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