If you’re a parent who thought that buying your child a cheap smartphone or tablet would spare your PC from being taken up with endless block-chipping, I’ve got some bad news for you. A new patch introduces crossplay for the Windows 10 version of Minecraft [official site] and the Pocket Edition on iOS and Android – anyone on the same network can play together. Which means that yes, sorry, your time with your PC will once again be spent looking at your kid’s mangled recreations of Ben 10 monsters and vloggers you’ve never heard of. I guess this constitutes both a reason to upgrade to Windows 10 and a reason not to upgrade to it, eh?
Rudimentary online play is included too, but is currently ‘a work in progress’, with Mojang warning that manual route port-forwarding will probably be required. Whether local or online, cross-platform play is currently limited to a maximum of five players.
Meanwhile, no word is given on whether the original, non-Windows 10 version of Minecraft will receive such treatment. It seems unlikely, given that the Windows 10 version is essentially the Pocket Edition. The first consequences of the Microsoft are making themselves known, I suspect. At least they didn’t decide to only support Windows Phones, however.
More details on how this multi-platform malarkey works are here, but before you read them do have a play of Mojang’s short’n’delightful Persona 4 spoof at the top of that page, with which they are announcing the crossplay news.
Incidentally, if you already own Minecraft on PC then you can ‘upgrade’ to the Windows 10 edition for free, presuming you have the OS in question. Details on how to do that are here.