After some delays, Minecraft is finally available on the PS4 and Xbox One. Since pretty much everyone knows what Minecraft is at this stage, I am going to review this game as a comparison to the PS3 and Xbox 360 releases. To start off the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Minecraft are the same, just like the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions were the same. The actual game content, by which I mean game features, new blocks, creatures and gameplay mechanics are all the same across all platforms. Up until now the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game have been getting the same updates in the same time frame so this will presumably continue with the next generation of consoles. The major differences between Minecraft on this generation of consoles and last generation is the performance.
Minecraft runs in 1080p on the PS3 and 360 ,so obviously it runs in 1080p on the newer consoles. Due to the visual style of Minecraft there really isn’t much of a difference in the overall look and feel. The textures have remained the same, which is what we would expect. You can change the texture pack to make the game look different ,but I personally don’t enjoy using these packs. If you have purchased any of these texture packs on the last generation consoles they should be available to download for free on the current gen version. The biggest difference in terms of the visuals is the draw distance. The game still looks the same, but you can now see a LOT further into the distance. Minecraft on last gen consoles was quite limited with its draw distance, but now you can see a lot further before the fog hides the environment. This makes a huge impact on how pretty this game looks. The textures are the same, but now that we have more things on the screen at once, it makes the world feel far more detailed.
When playing Minecraft on the PS3, the thing that annoyed me most was the size of the maps that were generated. The worlds were fixed to a single in game map, once you got to the edge of this map there was an invisible wall that prevented you from going any further. This sucked because sometimes you would spend a lot of time in a world and eventually discover that there were no temples or villages. The developers have said that the world size is 40 times bigger than it was in the last gen versions of the game. A huge increase like this means that we will likely never have an issue with there not being a village or a temple in the world that is generated.
As happy as I am with all of the improvements, all is not perfect with the latest console release of Minecraft. As with the last gen versions of the game, the game content is lagging behind the PC version considerably. The frequency at which the game was updated in the past was quite slow and when the game did get updated most of the new features couldn’t be used unless the world was regenerated. This means if the console version gets updated to add witches, water temples or any other environmental changes you will have to start again with a new world to be able to make use of these changes. This also applies to the PC version of the game, but it is frustrating that the console version is lagging so far behind that by the time the update comes we have seen so much of the new updates that it’s not as appealing to create a new world just to play it for yourself.
There is one last thing that I really loved about Minecraft on the PS4 version specifically, this is remote play. All PS4 games can be played via remote play by default. It is up to the developers to add custom support to make the game work better with the vita controls. The controls have been remapped to take advantage of the Vitas touch screen and they make playing the game really awesome. It’s awesome being able to play the game on the TV then having the option to whip out your Vita and continue playing. The experience is just as much fun since the controls are perfect and don’t use that troublesome back touch pad!
If you have the option, there is no reason for you to get the last gen version of the game over this version. It is far better and has no drawbacks. So if you are looking to get your teeth stuck into Minecraft, but dont have a PC then you should pick it up for the PS4 of XB1.