As promised with the teaser from build 2019, Microsoft has released the details for the augmented reality version of Minecraft for smartphones.
The company has released a new trailer for the game, which resembles the trailer Niantic originally made for Pokémon GO. And like the aforementioned classic, the video is a slightly beautified vision of what the game will provide.
First, the trailer begins with several players interacting with tabletop and life-size Minecraft creations in the real world In Pokémon GO, we see people bumping into creatures and objects on the streets of their neighborhood.
The trailer is unavailable I do not reveal any gameplay, but the site for the game clarifies what the players are can expect. In this AR version of Minecraft (which does not connect to the existing version of Minecraft) players can create their Minecraft areas in AR and assemble in multiplayer mode. You will also be able to gather resources and face mobs (and combat mobs) in the real world, with new types of creatures also appearing in the game.
"There's no better way to celebrate our tenth anniversary than to finally be able to tell you about our … Augmented Reality mobile game! This is Minecraft like you've never seen before and It allows you to give your daily life a Minecraft makeover! "Tom Stone, creative communication assistant at Mojang (the Minecraft developer Microsoft took over in 2014), in a blog post.
The game's spatial awareness and multiplayer features are not provided by ARKit or ARCore, but by Azure Spatial Anchors. Microsoft's own cross-platform augmented reality toolkit for iOS, Android and HoloLens.
A closed beta of the game will be released this summer and interested players will be able to sign up for updates to the game's website and inclusion in the beta. As a bonus for signing up, players get a free skin for Minecraft Earth and Minecraft Bedrock.
Players must have a device with at least iOS 10 or Android 7.0 (ie ARKit and ARCore are not required) and a Microsoft or Xbox Live account to participate. The sign up process also implies that Minecraft Earth is a free game while the FAQ page confirms that there are no loot boxes (random prizes in the game).
When the game is released to the public, Microsoft is gradually being introduced globally, but promises that the game will eventually become available worldwide.
With this revelation, Microsoft happily chose a less cryptic approach than Niantic, the three teaser videos released, before taking a look at the gameplay. On the other hand, Microsoft originally teased Minecraft AR a few years ago with HoloLens and that will take a long time to come.
To date, Mobile AR for several players has not really caught fire and ARCore despite the support of the feature via ARKit. Due to the franchise's popularity, Minecraft Earth has the potential to be the first mobile multiplayer AR game to offer mainstream success, giving Microsoft a big win for its Azure Spatial Anchors solution. And since Spatial Anchors is a cross-platform solution, this dream of Minecraft on HoloLens could one day become a reality.