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Minecraft Heading to Xperia PLAY First

Gamasutra reports that Minecraft developer Mojang will port its popular block-building PC "sandbox" game to Sony Ericsson's Xperia PLAY smartphone first, supporting the PlayStation-certified phone's unique slide-out gamepad. The Xperia PLAY actually hits Verizon’s network on Thursday, priced at $199 with a two-year-contract. So far there's no indication of when this particular version will be ready to download and play.

The news follows previous reports released back in February that the indie developer was working on ports for the iPhone, iPad and Android OS in-house. As expected, the mobile versions of Minecraft won't feature the extensive control setup as seen with the PC counterpart. Instead, the game will incorporate features that "make sense" for the touch screen platform.

"When playing on smartphones you will have a different screen size compared to PC, different hardware, different attention spans and thus the game needs to be customized to fit the mobile specifications," the company said.

Bringing Minecraft to the Xperia PLAY first is really a no-brainer: the device has a control setup that could easily mimic the PC's gameplay using physical buttons like the thumbpads and directional pad. Other QWERTY smartphones such as the original Motorola DROID would also work well even though the GPU and CPU requirements for the mobile port are unknown at this point.

Thursday Mojang indicated that the Xperia PLAY version will follow the PC model of releasing early and updating frequently. So far the studio hasn't offered an estimated pricetag or explained how the game will be distributed. That said, the original PC version will retail for $28.95 when it "ships" this fall, but fans can purchase the game now for a cheaper $21.95.

The highly-coveted PC version is expected to drop its "beta" tag on November 11, 2011. The team is currently looking into hosting a Minecraft convention in Las Vegas on that date, but so far estimated ticket prices have slowed down those plans. It's believed that the iOS and Android versions – sporting controls more suited for touch screens – will arrive then.

More info will likely be provided at E3 2011 next month, as Sony Ericsson is throwing a special invite-only Minecraft-theme media event.

  • weefatbob
    Fuck that will be a very long wait till it is out then. The Xperia play is so damn late I have cancelled both my pre-orders with O2!
  • soccerplayer88
    Awesome that the indie developer is getting all this attention. Hopefully we'll see versions on the iOS (not the phone, my ipod although would be appreciative) and maybe even on the Android.
  • NapoleonDK
    One day we will be able to inject Minecraft intravenously, then we won't need these damn middlemen to get our fix. XD I cannot wait for this!
  • scuba dave
    I can't wait to be able to play on my iphone during all the brief moments in line at stores, etc.
  • eddieroolz
    If I were on the market, this would be one compelling factor for the Xperia Play. I'd love to be able to play Minecraft on the go!
  • NuclearShadow
    I really wouldn't want to play Minecraft on such a small screen. I can only imagine how it would make high areas feel when you endlessly climb up them. Plus I just can't see charging people for the portable version if they already bought the PC version. I never liked the idea of re-buying the same game on another platform.
  • virtualban
    I would not play minecraft at all. Why limit what I can do with my imagination in a 3d world? But that's another debate.
    I think a MMO of any sort should not be played on any portable with tiny keyboard or no keyboard. Even when bored while on the bus. Let alone taking time away from the big computer with HD screens to play on tiny screens. But as long as there are people wanting it, there will be someone supplying it.
    Thumbs up for the free market!
  • My life is over when/if this ever hits my iPhone.
  • feeddagoat
    weefatbob The Xperia play is so damn late I have cancelled both my pre-orders with O2!
    What are you on about? the xperia play is already out in the UK and has been for a while.....
  • oxxfatelostxxo
    You can actually already play minecraft on a phone... ive been doing it since release. My desktop runs the game and video/audio are streamed right to my phone where i can control it.

    Though... the controls are a lil bit of a pain, its still functional.