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.”
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)
Judging from this more extensive (though sped-up) Pocket Edition demo on the Xperia Play, the game makes extensive use of the gamepad controls and only use the touchscreen for simple tasks like selecting colors for the building blocks. Perhaps using the touch controls to move blocks around would make the process feel too much like work?
Minecraft: Pocket Edition will also be available on other Android and iOS devices in the near future 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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