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    Minecraft is about to enter its final form. The Better Together update will be available in August, and will bring together Minecraft across almost every platform that it supports, including iOS, Android, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. This unification is due to the Bedrock Engine, which currently powers all mobile, Windows 10, Amazon Fire and VR versions of the game. Now, it doesn't matter which platform your friends use to play Minecraft -- every version will be identical with the same DLC and updates, and all players will be able to build new worlds.

    Well, almost all. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360 versions of Minecraft aren't part of the initial "Better Together" update.

    Marketing lead Emily Orrson states, "Beginning with Xbox One or Nintendo Switch We'll broaden the code base to ensure that everyone -- the vast majority -of our community are connected."

    The Better Together update includes Bedrock to Minecraft on the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch which allows players to play with almost every version of the game. With the update, all participating consoles get Realms (the game's multiplayer mode) as well as the recently launched Community Marketplace. All DLC purchased will also be transferred to Bedrock. The update adds infinite worlds to Xbox One or Switch, which is a significant improvement over the current grid of 3 miles by 3 mi.

    Executive producer Jesse Merriam says that "they've been asking for relief there for several years, and now they will be in a position to walk straight into these worlds and continue generating them infinitely."

    But players who play on PS4 perhaps the most played current-gen console available will not be transferred to Bedrock immediately.

    Merriam stated that "our goal is to unify all Minecraft players." "Today we're able confirm Xbox One and Nintendo Switch however, we're also able to confirm all of our current-gen partners -we're keen on connecting all of the Minecraft players. It's all about what we're able to confirm right now.

    The Xbox 360 and PS4 versions of Minecraft will keep their platform-specific names. However, the Java version will officially be called Minecraft: Java Edition. This is what most players call it anyway. Now, we have the main Minecraft game, as well as three fragmented editions (PS4, Xbox 360, and Java) that do not guarantee the same updates and cross-platform capabilities. It's a good step towards unity, but it's not yet a complete leap.

    Orrson says that "we're very closely partnered with Apple, Google and PlayStation, Nintendo, Amazon -- a lot, it just isn't a lot to ensure that we're always available in every store and everything else." "Right now, we are trying to get everyone connected but it's difficult to navigate through all the scenarios we encounter.

    Microsoft bought Minecraft in 2014 for $2.5 billion It makes sense that the Xbox One version is getting some affection in the Better Together update. Sony is the one that builds the PS4.

    "It's not for the lack of motivation or effort on our part," said senior global communications manager Aubrey Norris. "We are in talks with our partners right now. We are interested in PlayStation and we would like to invite Sony for PlayStation players to Bedrock. However these are private discussions.

    Microsoft and the developer Mojang are far from done with Minecraft. Better Together is part a larger push for Minecraft to become an "creative platform." Developers want it to be more than just a game. They want it to be the basis for community-driven development, connection and creativity.

    The Community Marketplace, which hit Pocket and Windows 10 editions in June, was a big aspect of this transition, allowing players to search for, buy and sell their own game creations.

    Servers are also getting attention in Better Together. These servers allow players to explore worlds that were created by passionate fans. There's now Servers tabs next to the "Worlds" and "Friends" tabs upon launch which will introduce a whole new community of players to fan-favorite universes such as Lifeboat, an endeavor created by a 14-year-old and his dad that has 6 million users per month. The first servers to be launched on Bedrock include Lifeboat, CubeCraft, Mineplex and InPvP.

    One final update makes Minecraft even more self-contained: an integrated recipe book for crafting.

    "We want to bring the strengths of all the existing crafting systems together," Merriam says. "Today the Java edition is renowned for its exploration and discovery as you go to the crafting grid and try things out and see what turns out to be the recipe."
    Minecraft servers

    The recipe book allows players to switch recipes on the crafting grid. This will eliminate the need to start the game and locate the relevant Wiki page. However, those who prefer to experiment with recipes are free to ignore the book completely.

    "Anyone who's interacted with a fervent Minecraft fan will know there's a lot of pride a kid will feel if they have the recipe for building a boat," Merriam says.

    Follow all the latest news regarding E3 2017 here.

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