It looks like Minecraft is getting ready to take on Pokemon Go.
A new teaser trailer released by Microsoft this week basically confirms that Minecraft AR is in the works. The short clip sees someone pick up another person’s phone only to discover an AR version of the game. The unmistakable pixelated blocks line the floor of the real world and a pig trots around on them. Later two other virtual characters spot the player and run off.
You can also see Minecraft’s classic UI at the bottom of the screen. That, to us, suggests there will be elements of the original game in here, though to what extent remains to be seen. Will there be multiplayer support? If so, will other Minecraft players get to connect with those in AR? There’s certainly a lot of possibilities here.
It looks like the game is being played on an Android handset, though no release platforms have been confirmed.
It’s interesting to see this app teased for smartphones and not Microsoft’s latest AR hardware, HoloLens 2. Minecraft was initially used to promote a world of possibilities with the first HoloLens. Since then, though, Microsoft has skewed the platform off to be an enterprise-level device. Turns out most Minecraft fans probably don’t want to pay $3,500 to see the game in AR.
Smartphones, meanwhile, have become the home of early VR. Pokemon Go was a huge success and now everyone, including developer Niantic, is trying to replicate that by bringing other brands to AR.
We won’t have long to wait to find out more about Minecraft AR, at least. The video tells everyone to ‘Tune in’ on May 17. That’s a week on Friday.