Minecraft, the hugely popular independent PC and Mac game with over two million paid users, made its first pocket-sized appearance on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (aka the PlayStation Phone) at E3 this week.
For the uninitiated, Minecraft is a "sandbox" adventure game where you can build anything you want in the 3D world, cube by cube, and can explore your world on your own terms.
Mojang the game developer's Daniel Kaplan told Cassandra Khaw from IndieGames that the changes between the Pocket Edition and the original are minor to accommodate the smaller screensize, lower processing power and shorter gaming sessions on mobile devices. For example, the Pocket Edition will have "shorter day [sic] circles" and "digging ... have been made faster to allow for a more immediate experience."
[Update] According to Engadget's hands-on with the game and phone at E3, the Pocket Edition won't have any evil creepers who can destroy your creations at night, nor does it offer any crafting capabilities so you can't make your own tools and other materials to help you build yet. The game will be updated frequently by Mojang like the PC version so its features could very well change depending on user demands. To navigate the game, use the touchscreen to select your block, then use the shoulder buttons to place it. Alternatively, you can use the shoulder buttons to dig and cycle through your block options with the circle and square buttons.
The Xperia Play is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor so it is capable of producing "3D graphics at least equivalent to the Sony PlayStation," according to PCMag's Will Greenwald. This capability along with the inclusion of familiar gamepad controls are what compelled Mojang to port the game to the Xperia Play first, "For the first time you could really play a first person game on a phone without really uncomfortable controls," said Mojang Creator Markus Persson in an interview with Sony Ericsson Product Blog in Los Angeles this week. (Brief game demo starts at 0:48)
Minecraft: Pocket Edition will also be available on other Android and iOS devices possibly by the third quarter this year but Mojang has yet to announce any specific dates or the price for the mobile game. For now, the game is exclusive to the Xperia Play, which is only carried by Verizon in the U.S. for $199.99 on a two-year contract.
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