Minecraft: PC vs. Xbox 360

May 9th is a big day for Minecraft fans. It’s the day that Minecraft will be released for the Xbox 360. Will there be a shift in players from the PC to the Xbox? Maybe, but there will be some differences between the Xbox and PC versions. Today at Leviaythn I’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each game so Minecraft fans can see if getting the Xbox version is right for them.


****UPDATE! Check out my updated opinion “Minecraft PC Will Always Be Better than Xbox 360’s”


Minecraft Xbox (4J Studios)

Tutorial/Hints: The Xbox version of Minecraft will include a tutorial level and pop up in-game hints to assist new players. Some people believe figuring out how to play Minecraft on your own is part of the fun, but most people have already figured out everything on the PC version. This is a great way to broaden the community and get more people into playing Minecraft. It will also make learning the Xbox controls quick and easy for PC players. I think this is a definite pro of the Xbox version.


Recipe Book: Crafting items on the Xbox will be done differently than on the PC version. Players will still have the 2×2 crafting on their person and the 3×3 at a workbench. However, all crafting will be done by looking up the item you wish to craft. If you have the materials in your inventory than you can just press create. This will make crafting quicker, and it will be nice to have access to an in-game menu that tells you the materials you need for crafting.


Split Screen for the Xbox 360

Multiplayer: This is what I think will be the biggest advantage to the Xbox version of Minecraft. Up to four players can go split screen at once. Adding and dropping players is simple and doesn’t interrupt gameplay. If you want to check out how the split screen works click here. It has also been announced that the first patch will make it so 8 players can be on the same map at once over Xbox Live. There have been rumors about open online play but there has been no update or release date for these rumors. If they do add online multiplayer it will probably be on open servers.


Updates: Official statements have been released that say the Xbox version of Minecraft will continue to add unique features that the PC will not have. 4J Studios is working on a way for players to use the Kinect to add to the Minecraft experience. There are plans to add texture packs and mods to the game, as well as hopefully adding online multiplayer. After the release of Minecraft Xbox it will continue to update with the PC version.

Minecraft PC (Mojang Studios)

Mods: Minecraft on the computer currently has countless mods that players can download. Some of these mods will become available on the Xbox, but not all of them. Because so many mods are made by users they just can’t all be added to the Xbox. This truly freelance game is somewhat limited on the Xbox, but on the PC it will continue to be as customizable as always. Plus, knowing the Xbox marketplace these mods might have a price tag on them.

One of many unique texture options

Skins: This is another feature that will eventually be released on the Xbox version. However, I’m quite sure it will cost Gamer Points to get. Texture packs are a way to customize what the environment and blocks look like in your game. There are countless free and unique texture packs available online and it’s just another way that the PC version will stay more customizable.

Multiplayer: While Minecraft PC lacks split screen it has already functioning open and closed servers. There are open creative servers that anyone can join and build. There are also closed servers that have implemented PvP, currency systems, towns, guilds, and shops. Because the PC version is so customizable whole worlds have been created for players to have a more roleplaying based experience, buying plots of land and building defenses against other players instead of just NPCs. The online multiplayer community is very strong and many fans won’t be playing on the Xbox because they are attached to their online servers and friends.

Price: Minecraft on the PC currently costs $26.95 while the Xbox version will cost 1600 Gamer Points or $20. However, Minecraft fans already own the PC version and most people bought the game while it was still in beta for a reduced price. Also, any mods or texture packs will continue to be free on the PC version which will drive the price down compared to the Xbox version. If you are planning on customizing your gameplay experience than the PC version will be the cheaper option.

The Verdict:

The Xbox version of Minecraft is going to add some cool features but can’t add everything the PC has. Minecraft’s simple graphics and controls are easily transferred to the Xbox, but it’s the PCs capabilities to mod and go online that will keep it as the preferred choice for hard core fans. There isn’t one that is better than the other. Notch himself has stated that the Xbox version will be less complicated than the PC version, but he hopes that it will encourage new players. I think it will also encourage people to get together and play Minecraft instead of sitting at home playing by themselves. I think for people who plan on playing with friends (which is why I will be getting Xbox Minecraft) or like playing their Xbox more than PC getting the Xbox version is an easy choice. But, if you’re happy with the PC version you won’t be missing out on much by sticking with it.


Xbox Version Recommended For: casual players, group play, beginners

PC Version Recommended For: modders, online players, hard core fans


****UPDATE! Check out my updated opinion “Minecraft PC Will Always Be Better than Xbox 360’s”