Minecraft – Pocket Edition Will Launch As Android Exclusive, But What About iPhone?

Minecraft – Pocket Edition Will Launch As Android Exclusive, But What About iPhone?

Indie sensation Minecraft is coming to smartphones this year… but it won’t be coming to iOS first. Instead, it’ll debut on Android as an exclusive to the so-called PlayStation Phone, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. It’s a betrayal that especially hurts given the fact that Minecraft was briefly available on the App Store last year.

According to Minecraft lead developer Notch, Minecraft — Pocket Edition will be expressly built to take advantage of the Xperia Play’s unique hardware controls, including PlayStation-like shoulder buttons and D-pads.

This doesn’t mean that Minecraft isn’t coming to iOS… but it does mean that Sony Ericsson paid Mojang a pretty penny for an exclusive window. It’s an exclusive the Xperia Play — which launched last month in Europe — desperately needs, as sales of are terrible, especially for the Play’s exclusive games. From an iPhone owner’s perspective, though, that exclusive is trouble: depending on how long that window is, we could be waiting awhile for Minecraft to hit the App Store.

Also distressing: this means that, at least in the short term, Minecraft — Pocket Edition isn’t being built from the ground up for touchscreen controls only, but for a weird hybrid of multitouch and physical buttons that will never be available on an iDevice.

Frustrating news all around. Not only do iPhone and iPad owners have to wait longer for Minecraft to hit the App Store, but it’s likely to be half-baked compared to the Xperia Play version. For those of us who think the iPad is the perfect platform for building our infinite, voxel-based worlds, this is sad indeed.

  • GregsTechBlog

    This makes me wish I had pirated Minecraft instead of paying for it. 

  • prof_peabody

    I don’t get the attraction of this game.  The graphics looks like Second Life did in 2003.  

  • Gravedrinker

    They don’t. Its a pixelated look on purpose, take a closer look. Also, as you may or may not know, there is more to a game than just the technical aspect of the graphics. This is a little like Lego. You don’t complain about Lego not being fun just because the bricks aren’t made of silver and are edgy instead of round. Its just a choice of style. A game from 2003 looks dated because it used low poly models, bad textures compared to today and so on. This is really not comparable. 

    The fun comes from the building and the realizing of your ideas. If you aren’t interested in  creating then it probably won’t be fun for you.

  • Eric

    So when minecrap does come to IOS I won’t be buying it. Enjoy your exclusive tards.

  • fortninety

    Given how iOS has been the home to a great deal of first run exclusives… and how there’s still many that might never reach other platforms (Eliss plus Sword & Sworcery immediately comes to mind, but there’s SO much more) such in a heartbeat disdain for Minecraft is pretty laughable.

  • Hampus

    The funny things are:
    1. They first announced the game for iOS, they only confirmed android when people started asking about it.
    2.To begin with the game will launch on and for some time be exclusive to on one of the most failed gaming platforms in history(Xperia Play)…

  • Hampus

    To bad there won’t be a whole lot of people to enjoy the exclusivity :p

  • JC

    Betrayal, really?  Even without an exclusive, an Android version would have still probably been out first: given the lack of Java support, porting Minecraft to iOS is a much bigger job than porting to Android.

  • yourmom

    your a hater, haters should all die

  • catbusrider

    “a betrayal”
    really? I’m surprised you don’t consider the Sony exclusive a “betrayal” to Android users, who assume they get equal access to all Android apps. 

    I think it’s just smart marketing-no betrayals or whining necessary.

  • Anon

    Uh. Betrayal? Unplug from the hysteria just a little, it can’t be good for your kidneys.

  • Alistair H.

    You’re not the only one. It’s a very cra….. game…

  • Rowan Arbuckle

    Because you take one look at something and dont think.

  • cheesy11

    this game is pointless to me hopefully it doesnt make its way onto the iphone

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Minecraft won’t be a hit on Android for the simple reason Phandroids like to think even less then iSheep. Now if this was a game with mindless violence and guts flying everywhere Android users would flock to steal the app for their rooted handsets. Did I mention Phandroids are also considered ultra cheap?

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  • Dsadas

     wow just like a little kid no one gives a fucking shit about graphics

  • Hoosiercub

    Minecraft for Android is in C++

  • jakekimpton

    In your own opinion. Which not many people will care about

  • Tim Holladay

    I was kind of neutral on this matter, as I play minecraft on my laptop as much as anything, but damn, Sony first? Sony sucks.

  • Michael Constantin

    Betrayal? lol. Notch is a PC user, not a mac user. Androids are the PCs of the app industry.

  • Ashley Sheridan

    Yeah, because Android can’t possibly be more popular than iOS can it? Oh wait, it is. Haters gonna hate, and iFanatics gonna get fanatic, especially if they think there’s something else their poor iOS devices can’t do. How’s the Flash on those things these days? :p

  • Mark Morin

    “Yeah, I broke my MacBook by being stupid.. Turns out they’re not quite as robust as actual books. Yet.”

    “Well, it hit the floor pretty hard, still worked, but no kb/trackpad
    connection. So naturally, I tinkered. And now: very dead mac”

    http://twitter.com/#!/notch

  • 159487nk

    everyone calm down this isn’t a betrayal i personally think its a good idea for minecraft to come to the xperia because the buttons can work with it amd will be a good start for notch to work with the buttons so that he can make the minecraft’s on other mobiles bettter. Bet you didn’t think of that you trolls (not everyone here is a troll but the trolls here should STFU)

  • Aisha Clarke

    ORLY?! Deal with it, is my advice. Until they work out purely touchscreen controls other non-Xperia Play users won’t get it either. Apple has a raft of exclusives and whatnot. This article reminds me of the Americans complaining when we got a few 3DS games first – when more often than not a UK release is three or four weeks after a US. As I say, deal with it.

    Also: I porkchop Minecraft.

  • Aisha Clarke

    I think you’re confusing Android fanboys with Xbox ones. Personally, as a ‘Phandroid’, I tend to steer clear of extremely violent games. Feel free to continue with the whole generalisation angle, though. I also appreciate ‘ultra cheap’, because I refuse to pay out hundreds of pounds for out-of-date kit in a fancy case. But that’s just me. :)

  • Logan Carbin

    Lol… just one more reason to get a real phone.

  • Albion Dani

    This article is sooooo one sided. the author is just pissed at the fact that idevice are shit, this is a true fact that’s why I am leving my iphone in the dump. and moving on to android. also mojang a.k.a Notch dident get any thing from sony not even ask for any money. john the so called  news editor is acting like a toddler and when toddlers don’t know who to blame they just point fingers. the real ression why mojang put mine craft on the xperia play is because the iphone just dosent have the power to handle and massive open world game like minecraft.   

  • Sam Schrimsher

    ios always gets apps first but now suddenly they dont and its a betral? i’m glad android get this first

  • Kuro Kitsune

    in my experince ive yet to come across a android phone i liked better then my iphone but thats just imo prefrences is all. i love they made a android ver (i do have an android phone) what i mad about is that its xperia play for now >.> when will the general ver come out? id happily lay down10$ for it

  • Spencer

    But it isn’t launching for all android devices. Just Xperia Play. That’s what Hampus meant. Hampus wasn’t “hating,” just pointing out that the Xperia isn’t selling well. The title of the article is misleading. Its not android exclusive. Its playstation phone exclusive, which by pure coincidence runs android.

    And don’t anyone try to put a tone in my comment that isn’t there. I’m just trying to point something out. I’m not trying to incite anything.

  • Minecrafter Man

    That’s completely untrue, the iPhone has more than the capability of android because of the A5 chip. I don’t see why your making excuses to make the iPhone seem obsolete when android has many bugs to fix.

  • Minecrafter Man

    Notch has a MacBook air (which he dubbed notchbook air), but he might have more computers

  • Minecrafter Man

    Ooh, ZING!!!

  • Duc Ngo

    The writer calls it a betrayal since he is a biased, one sided reader. Thinking only about the platform he uses rather than embracing minecraft for coming to mobile devices.

  • Tdgracia

    What is this crap? iPhone is and always be the best and anyone who says otherwise if full of it

  • meooooowth

    Android is muuuuch better than that apple crap, my iPod Touch was stolen and I didn’t care enough to try n get it back..

  • Robotponys

    NOTCH! Why? Most people DO NOT want to buy a phone ONLY for playing minecraft! Might as well lug around a laptop… I’m guessing the xperia play is not nearly as good as the iphone. And the ipad has a huge screen, why did you choose the bad phone instead. I don’t mean offense to anyone, but IMO this was a bad choice. Maybe android, but not sony. Sony was not designed for phones it was for games. They merely added the ability to listen to staticy voices. Oh, and Notch cracked his macbook air with his TV remote… A very heavy one.

  • MineCraft

    So true i use a ipod and im pretty upset its only for androids and such

  • Flamewolf70

    They should have sold it on the iPhone first, they would’ve made more money and because many people have iPhones so I bet around or more than 50% of those people love minecraft and I’m one of those fifty. I also hope it won’t come half baked like what John said and worth the wait.

  • Flamewolf70

    I also agree that the article’s one sided but I’m just dissapointed that I’ll have to wait longer for it to come out on the iPhone for a while because I’m always outside and I usually have nothing to do while I’m waiting for things so I want to use that time to work on my minecraft because I dont want to waste any time but I don’t have an android or a laptop just an iPhone

  • M0rph

    Nope wrong. It’s the exact same as the Android version. Get you facts ri… oh just kidding you didn’t know. But, man, what bias. It’s glaringly slanted here. Seriously, it’s not all about you guys, (losers).

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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