Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition announced, future uncertain for existing PC Edition

Today, Microsoft has made things a little bit more confusing for PC Minecraft players. Back in April, Microsoft teased that Minecraft would be appearing in the Windows Store. Today that finally gets confirmed, but not in the way we thought.

At the opening event for Minecon 2015, Mojang announced Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition, a new edition of Minecraft designed to take full advantage of all the features available in Windows 10. It's highly likely that this edition is written from scratch (perhaps based on some Pocket Edition code), meaning it doesn't use the laggy Java mess that has plagued Minecraft for years.

Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition is designed to work on a vast amount of hardware. You can play on anything running Windows 10, from your expensive gaming PC to your $99 Intel-powered Windows tablet. This edition allows you to play with a keyboard, mouse, or gamepad - changing the interface of the game to suit what you're playing with.

Probably the last major feature this edition contains is multiplayer via Xbox Live, so you can play with your friends much easier. It's not clear exactly how this will work with public servers (if at all), or even playing with people with PC Edition will be supported. Funny enough, Microsoft adding Xbox Live support to Minecraft was our April Fool's joke this year.

While Mojang assured the audience that the normal PC Edition would continue to be developed, one has to wonder how long they will support two almost-identical editions. The beta for Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition will be free to all owners of PC Edition, and $10 for a limited time if you don't already have PC edition.

It will be released alongside Windows 10 on July 29th. If you're interested in updating, Windows 10 is a free upgrade for all Windows 7 and 8.1 users, you can check out how to upgrade at Microsoft's website.

Update: Microsoft has made their own post about the game on their website, revealing a little more information about it. It seems to be based on Pocket Edition, as Microsoft claims an update soon after launch will enable multiplayer gaming with Pocket Edition players. LAN multiplayer without Xbox Live will continue to be supported, which we assume Pocket Edition will use (it would be cool if Xbox Live was optional in Pocket Edition, to play with PC players farther away). That's about it for now.

Update 2: Aubrey Norris, a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft, reached out to us on Twitter about our concerns with Minecraft Windows 10 Edition:

https://twitter.com/Chupacaubrey/status/617325681702211584

Source: IGN

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It would be nice if they put the Windows 10 Edition on the OS X App Store, but of course under a different name.

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