Minecraft Earth’s closed beta: This augmented reality needs more augmenting

Minecraft Earth’s closed beta: This augmented reality needs more augmenting

Enlarge (credit: Mojang / Microsoft)

When Microsoft acquired Mojang, the maker of Minecraft, in 2014, we all feared the worst: a zillion cash-in video games. Turns out, Microsoft has been really smart about its Minecraft output in the past five years. Only one Minecraft-related game has launched since then (2015’s solid Minecraft Story Mode), and 2020’s Minecraft Dungeons felt ridiculously good to play at this year’s E3. (Plus, Mojang has been allowed to keep polishing the original game on every console and smartphone in the world, instead of turning into an Xbox-only studio. Whew.)

Thus, it wasn’t necessarily inevitable that Minecraft would get a clone to compete with every major gaming genre (no Super Steve Bros., no Minecraft Kart Racers). That got our hopes up for Minecraft Earth, Microsoft’s first salvo in the “augmented reality on phones” war, which was unveiled in May of

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Minecraft Earth gets first live demo, coming to iOS “this summer”

Minecraft Earth gets first live demo, coming to iOS “this summer”

Mojang, the Microsoft-owned studio behind Minecraft, used Monday’s WWDC keynote to unveil the world’s first live gameplay look at its next smartphone-exclusive game, Minecraft Earth. This demo also included the firmest tease yet about when series fans will get their hands on the augmented-reality game: “coming this summer to iOS.” This specific tease didn’t include any indication of whether that means the game’s promised Android version will take longer to land as a public beta.

The onstage demo began with two Mojang employees aiming their iOS devices at a table, where a blocky Minecraft game world appeared that both users could simultaneously interact with. By walking around the table and aiming their devices’ cameras, the staffers could use items and weapons, interact with switches, and drop or plant items in

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There’s a new Minecraft game coming, and it’s played entirely in augmented reality

There’s a new Minecraft game coming, and it’s played entirely in augmented reality

Microsoft may believe it has made augmented reality’s killer app: the just-announced Minecraft Earth for iOS and Android.

AR on mobile devices may carry tremendous potential, but it’s easy enough to argue that the mainstream value proposition hasn’t arrived yet. Pokémon Go is probably the most oft-cited “killer app” for AR, but it’s only barely a true AR app. And there are some neat shopping apps and educational tools (from Warby Parker and Ikea, for example) but none of them have made a big dent in the mainstream consciousness.

Minecraft Earth

At first glance, Minecraft Earth seems a bit like Pokémon Go, given that it seems to be location aware in some ways. But there’s a bit more to it than that. Players will be able to construct builds on their living

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Minecraft Earth Turns Your Entire City Into a Playable Sandbox, Beta Coming Later This Year

Minecraft Earth Turns Your Entire City Into a Playable Sandbox, Beta Coming Later This Year


Microsoft unveiled Minecraft Earth this week, an augmented reality title that is set to turn your entire real world into a playable sandbox. 

Much like Pokemon GO, players will use their phone to interact with things that placed around the real world. And according to Microsoft, the game stays very true to the core fundamentals of Minecraft, but there’s been a blending of the traditional creative and survival modes. 

In a conversation with The Verge, Minecraft Earth director Torfi Olafsson says, “We have covered the entire planet in Minecraft. Every lake is a place you can fish, every park is a place you can chop down trees. We’ve actually taken maps of the entire world and converted them to Minecraft.”

I’ll be honest, this sounds dope. To get a good idea of what to expect, watch the below trailer. 

The beta is scheduled to go live this summer … Read the rest

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