On June 6th of this year, it was announced at E3 that Minecraft would be ported to the Xbox 360 by 4J Studios and would support Kinect; earlier in the year it had already been announced that the game would be coming to iOS and Android for smartphones.
IGN recently interviewed Markus “Notch” Persson, and when asked about the 360 version he had this to say:
“The 360 version [will] be a new product based [off] the PC version of Minecraft. It will be designed to work better on a console and to focus on the types of experiences you expect when playing games on a game console. As an example of something that will change, the crafting needs to be done completely different. The current type of crafting with a game controller would be about as fun as name-entry is.”
Notch said that he is pushing for a setting to be included that will allow people to play like they would on the PC version, using the Kinect to mine and punch trees. “Punching trees from the comfort of your living room has never been this immersive before.”
He also declined to respond to whether the 360 exclusivity was a timed exclusive or not, citing instructions from an unnamed entity. He did state that the game was slated for release in the winter at an unknown price point.
When asked about the mobile versions, he said that the Xperia Play version will be easy to port to other phones, but will be exclusive to that phone for an unspecified period of time. It will be launching this fall for $6.99.
Minecraft was first made available to the public (via Alpha) on May 17th, 2009; went into Beta on December 20th, 2010; and had reached 1 million units sold within 3 weeks of this transition. As of the time of this writing, Minecraft has sold 2,829,150 units. The game’s full PC release is scheduled for November at a cost of €20, but is available in its current form for €14.95.
Notch and Minecraft are a sort of inspiration to the indie developer world. He has made millions off a simple game idea, and has gained acknowledgement and praise from some of the bigger players in the industry – something that I’m sure every indie developer wishes for. Stories like this are very few and very far between.
Personally, I’m a little uncertain about the 360 version being true to the original, but it is good to see Notch heavily involved in its production despite not coding it himself. Given the “I can’t answer this” type of answer he gave to the timed exclusivity question, I’d be willing to bet that 6 months after its release you’ll be seeing ports to the PS3 and Wii (U?).
As far as the Mobile versions are concerned, $7 is a STEAL for this game, especially on a mobile platform. Unfortunately, you’ll need to pay much more than that for extra batteries you’ll need every time your phone dies from playing Minecraft too much.
However, I wouldn’t count on the PC version finally going gold in November. Notch (bless his soul) is notorious for being late with his releases. Either way, the game is still worth the buy even in beta.