Cross-play seems to be the must-have feature this year. The ability to play a game online with friends regardless of platform is just so alluring, and now that feature is available on the Nintendo Switch version of Minecraft.
Last year, Mojang released the Better Together update that let Xbox One, Windows 10, VR, and mobile device owners play Minecraft together. Today, the studio adds the Nintendo Switch to that list. Switch owners who buy the new version of the game (or upgrade their existing version for free) will now be able to play Minecraft with friends who own a different console.
According to the official site, the new version of Minecraft: Switch Edition is built on the Bedrock engine, which is used in the Xbox One, Windows 10, VR, and mobile versions of the game. More importantly, Switch Edition owners will also receive the Update Aquatic, all future updates, and the Super Mario Mash-Up pack with the new version of the game. Sadly, non-Switch owners will not be able to access the Super Mario content even with cross-play functionality, even though Switch Edition owners can use skins for Xbox characters such as Master Chief and Banjo-Kazooie (yes, Banjo-Kazooie are technically Xbox characters now since Microsoft owns Rare)
Now, you probably noticed that the PlayStation 4 version of Minecraft is not mentioned on the announcement page or in the video. That is because, much like the PlayStation 4 version of Fortnite, cross-play is unavailable. Even the trailer, which features gamers playing Minecraft together on an Xbox One and a Nintendo Switch, seems to throw shade on Sony for shirking from cross-play functionality, which has not gone unnoticed by viewers. The official announcement on Minecraft’s Twitter feed and the video’s comment section are full of responses that poke fun at Sony and the PlayStation 4.
While servers aren’t up just yet, the cross-play functionality is freely available for Nintendo Switch owners who buy or update the new version of Minecraft. However, a Nintendo Switch Online subscription is required to play with friends online.