*Update: When I originally released this article, I mistakenly included misleading information that the Super Duper Graphics pack would be a part of the update. I found that I was wrong and thus removed that from this post. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
I have been playing Minecraft since it launched on the Nintendo Switch and discovered a very unexpected love for the game. When Bedrock Edition was announced, I was excited by the prospect of getting to play with such a greatly enhanced version of the game, but was disappointed by the long wait Switch players would have to endure. Now, that wait is almost over! But first:
What Is Minecraft Bedrock Edition?
Minecraft Bedrock Edition offers significant improvement over the previous versions of the game enabling such features as cross play, the nearly infinite world sizes previously exclusive to the PC and phone versions and several other minor enhancements.
World Sizes Will Be Dramatically Increased In Bedrock Edition
The world sizes in Minecraft on the consoles are fairly respectable. Even on the Nintendo Switch, it can take as long as an hour to get from one side of the map to the other accounting for general landscape to navigate. As you may know everything in Minecraft is composed of blocks which can be broken and reassembled or crafted as you see fit. The world scale is described via these blocks. For perspective, the Wii U version of Minecraft was limited to the small size. The Switch could go up to medium, and the PS4/Xbone versions could be scaled up to the large sizes. Just considering these four versions, the scales only range between 1024 x 1024 blocks to 5,120 x 5,120 blocks.
However, these maps are completely dwarfed by the PC and phone versions which up till now have been the only ones which could reach the true potential of the world maps of Minecraft. These versions are practically endless at a staggering size of 32,000,000 blocks. To put this in real-world terms, that is roughly a scale of 60,000 km of randomly generated space to explore! Once, a man spent three years walking from one end of his Minecraft world to the other. For most players, game worlds of this size may as well be limitless.
Now, with the release of Bedrock Edition, every version of the game supporting the engine will be capable of supporting world maps of such a scale which will obviously be including the Nintendo Switch version! As an added bonus, your existing worlds created before the release of Bedrock Edition will be upscaled to the new world size. What will happen is when you approach the previous edge of your world map, it will actively generate new blocks to expand it naturally as you begin to explore beyond the previous limits of your world.
The Nintendo Switch Release Of Minecraft Bedrock Edition Is On June 21st
Bedrock Edition was released for all platforms except Apple TV and the Switch on September 20th, 2017 as a free update. The Nintendo Switch version was delayed until 2018, and that time is finally here! Nintendo has revealed that the update will become available on the Switch on June 21st.
Cross Play Requires An Xbox Live Account
To enable cross play, you must have an Xbox live account regardless of which platform you are playing on.
When the head of the Xbox devision at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, was asked about logging in, he replied, “It’s an Xbox Live account; that’s our gaming social network.
“We use Xbox Live as the way to make sure we know who our players are, controls around parental controls and other things that we put into our platform are there. And as you’re buying things in Minecraft, you want to make sure you have them available on other platforms, so we have to know who you are. If you have a realm that you’ve created on the PC and you want to get to it on the Switch, we have to have an identity system and we just use Xbox Live.”
You need an Xbox Live account to log in for cross play, but according to a Microsoft representative, Minecraft’s cross play will support the Nintendo Switch paid online membership when it launches in September.
The relationship with Nintendo is incredibly strong.
One concern which was originally expressed when this interview was done was regarding the Switch’s lack of an achievement system. When he was asked if players would be able to earn achievements, Mr. Spencer responded, “I don’t know yet. I’m guessing no. And this is a collaborative relationship between Nintendo and I; they don’t have Achievements on their platform. If they want us to, I would love to be able to do it… The relationship with Nintendo is incredibly strong. We obviously did the Mario mash-up pack into Minecraft; that doesn’t happen that often.”
It was recently confirmed by a Minecraft representative that the Nintendo Switch version of Minecraft will indeed be able to track Xbox Live Achievements later this year when Bedrock Edition becomes available for the platform. It hasn’t been confirmed if that will be immediately the case or not, but at least it seems Mr. Spencer’s musings from last year have indeed come to pass!
Do you play Minecraft, and do you have friends on other platforms you would like to play with? Let us know in the comments below!