Xbox Live is expanding the way that Minecraft fans can play with one another.
Microsoft is using its online service to bring cross-play to Minecraft between Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone as well as the Oculus-powered Gear VR headset for virtual reality. It is rolling out in a test phase right now for anyone with an Xbox Live account, and it will officially launch later this year. This is the first time that these various platforms have had the option to get into a Minecraft multiplayer server together. Developer Mojang, the team responsible for Minecraft, demonstrated players coming together onstage today at Microsoft’s Electronic Entertainment Expo lead-in event playing on iOS, console, and Gear VR with no issues.
For a game that has sold 100 million copies, giving people more ways to play may help it find another 100 million customers.
Mojang also revealed that it is introducing Realms for Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS and Android — with the console versions coming next year. The server-subscription program that gives players a persistent world that them and their friends can join even if the owner isn’t online previously debuted on PC. Microsoft started testing it on Android earlier this year, and now it’s rolling it out to the other Pocket Edition versions of the game.
GamesBeat asked Microsoft about the cost of cross-play for Minecraft and how Xbox Live and its subscription model fits into these new features.
Correction: This story originally stated Realms is coming to console this year. That’s isn’t correct, and I apologize for the error.