1 of 2
"Minecraft Earth" is an augmented reality version of "Minecraft."

SALT LAKE CITY — “Minecraft” is all about building and creation, so it’s only fitting that “Minecraft Earth” will let you literally shape the world around you.

According to the Verge, the new take on “Minecraft” cribs the augmented reality promise of “Pokemon Go,” but does it bigger with persistent creation. That means players can build a sculpture or structure on their phone before dropping it into the real world for people to admire.

The reveal trailer shows a player using her phone to place a blocky treehouse into the environment around her. In real life, people will obviously need to view creations on their phone screens, but the concept is still promising.

Polygon also reports the game employs “Tappables,” or building resources found in the world, and "Adventures," which are interactive “Minecraft” experiences featuring elements from the main game. Activities include defeating enemies, exploring mines and laying siege to a castle.

Here are some other highlights:

Comment on this story
  • Build Plates can be set into the environment via AR, where players can build their own creations.
  • Exploration mode then drops the creation at full scale into a real-world location. You can then use your phone to explore the sculpture.
  • Structures can also be altered by other players, but the original model is saved and can be set down elsewhere.
  • Players can share links to their creations so people can see for themselves wherever they are.
  • The game uses phone cameras to map a space so the game is consistent for everyone, no matter the season or weather conditions.
  • The game will feature monetization elements, but Microsoft hasn’t worked it out just yet.
  • A beta will be released soon and people interested in participating can sign up on the “Minecraft” website. Anyone who participates gets a free avatar skin, too.

“Minecraft Earth” is also powered by Microsoft’s Azure technology. I reported yesterday that Sony and Microsoft were teaming up to develop video game streaming services built on Azure.