Minecraft has timed exclusivity with Sony's Xperia Play. The portable edition has officially released in alpha form for this one Android device at the price of $6.99. A further, universal Android release is slated to come a bit down the line, along with an iOS version. Yes, we're convinced Minecraft: Pocket Edition will be everywhere within a matter of months.
If you're not familiar with the stripped down nature of the alpha version of Minecraft, understand that this initially release is light on features. You'll be able to build with 36 different blocks. No mobs, no red stone. But, guess what, local wireless multiplayer is an option.
A press release distributed the news of Minecraft: Pocket Edition's launch. Here's a brief bit of the official rundown, including what you can do it version Alpha 0.1…
The first version (Alpha 0.1) will focus on the creative aspects of Minecraft. We have tried to put in the features that make sense for playing on a mobile device while still keeping the core of the Minecraft experience. You will be able to select blocks on the touchscreen or just scroll through them with the circle and square buttons on the Xperia Play device. The first version also supports multi-player on a local wireless network allowing you to create a world and invite friends to build together. Some of the features in this release include:
• Randomized worlds
• Build anything you can imagine
• Build with 36 different kinds of blocks
• Invite and play with friends to your world (local wireless network) • Save multi-player worlds on your own phone
The portable version of the block busting pandemic will be developed with the same basic principles as the PC, Mac and Linux original. The game will receive a constant stream of updates bringing it closer to its eventual beta and final builds. It may be light now, but it will likely get nuts in due time.
I'm glad I snagged an Android device recently to fuel my addiction as soon as this title releases for non-Xperia Play owners. My main fear, of course, is the control scheme. Moving from the near-perfect keyboard and mouse setup to a purely touch experience may be an issue.
That said, I'll be waiting in line.