Last week Microsoft silently dropped a new video titled “What’s Minecraft up to?” So what exactly are they planning? Are they jumping on the Pokemon Go hype? It looks like they’re teasing an augmented reality Minecraft game for mobile.
We’ve known for years that Microsoft has been experimenting with the idea of augmented reality, mixing it in with Minecraft. I’m sure everyone remembers the countless of demos shown for the HoloLens.
Personally, I’m kind of excited. I used to be super into Minecraft, especially the modding scene. Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite are also one of the only mobile games I play. So I’ll definitely be willing to give a Minecraft AR title a try.
The above video shows the Minecraft Creative Director, Saxs Persson, accidentally leaving his phone on a bench. This is when we get our first glimpse at the game, when a woman mistakes the phone for hers.
There isn’t too much to take away from the video. It’s fairly short, we do see a brief view of the UI when the woman is looking towards the pig. We are also given the date for a full reveal, May 17th, where Mojang and Microsoft will be finally showing us what they’ve been crafting.
Could this be Microsoft attempting to recreate the popularity and success of Pokemon Go? Even now, the game stands as one of the most-played, top-grossing mobile titles after 3 years. Niantic is also releasing another AR game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
So what could the gameplay be like? I’ve been thinking over the possibilities for awhile. I think Minecraft could actually lend itself really well to an augmented reality, location-based game.
Microsoft could allow players to tie buildings and creations to real-world locations for other people to view and explore. Instead of catching Pokemon (or Foundables in Wizards Unite), they could get players to battle mobs, collect blocks or even mine.
It’ll be interesting to see how they handle the custom content aspect. Minecraft has always been huge because of the content creation community behind it. So I wonder if features like texture packs will be allowed. I guess we’ll find out May 17th!