'Minecraft Earth' makes the world your augmented reality playground

Alonzo Simpson
May 18, 2019

In a move that's equal parts surprising, inevitable and brilliant, late yesterday Microsoft announced Minecraft Earth, an augmented reality game that will let people build all sorts of blocky creations as they're walking down streets and trying not to get hit by cars. According to the Minecraft Earth website, you'll be able to build structures with other players and place them in the real world at life-size. This summer, Minecraft is entering the real-world thanks to augmented reality, mobile devices, and the Minecraft Earth app.

The objects you create in Minecraft Earth will always stay in the same place - regardless of who's looking at them.

Minecraft Earth will be free to play when it launches. Within a Build Plate, you'll be able to share your items, too, if you fancy a bit of trading.

As with Pokemon Go, Minecraft Earth is made to be a social multiplayer game, with easy-to-join sessions for any nearby players.

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"So your neighborhood is blocks, you can walk through parks and neighborhoods and have different Minecraft adventures, you can find blocks and hidden chests". Just like every version of the game for the past decade, I could use the phone to take blocks away, stack new ones to shape it to my liking or drop in mobs (virtual animals).

While little is now known about Minecraft Earth, Mojang did detail a few things players would be able to do. "We've actually taken maps of the entire world and converted them to Minecraft.". You can get a sense for the surreal Minecraft adventures in the full reveal trailer above. If you're the parent of an Xbox Live child account, you will be able to use elevated privacy controls to protect youngsters. As long as you have enough phones (or tablets with SIM cards), this is going to be a fascinating new family activity. We can't wait to see how it all works come the summer.

Fancy-tech! "Minecraft Earth" blends state-of-the-art Microsoft technology like Azure Spatial Anchors tracking and PlayFab integration to bring the game to life for a sophisticated AR gaming experience.

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