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Minecraft Pocket Edition up and running on the Xperia Play (video)

Minecraft Pocket Edition up and running on the Xperia Play (video)

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I'm a recovering Minecraft addict (three months sober!), but I'm sensing a relapse in my near future. In addition to a version of Minecraft coming to the Xbox 360, the recent addition of the Nether to Survival Multiplayer, and my general lack of will to resist, Notch and co. are building a mobile version of the game -- I don't stand a chance. The title is being built for both iOS and Android, but it will come out initially as an Xperia Play exclusive.

I got to spend a little bit of time with the game running on the Xperia hardware, and it felt pretty good. It's a slightly stripped down experience, due to performance constraints (and I'm guessing UI limitations), so right now it's a lot more like the creative mode -- you have unlimited blocks of whatever type to build with, and you don't need any fancy tools to destroy stuff. I also didn't see any complicated physics or animals on display, but the game is being built from the ground up with a mobile engine, so perhaps some of this stuff will get added back in.

Controls are simple enough, though not entirely satisfying. The d-pad is used for movement, while the right analog touchpad on the Xperia is used for looking. The shoulder buttons are used for breaking and placing blocks, and the X button jumps. That's where I had trouble: you have to jump pretty much all the time to get anywhere in Minecraft, so switching rapidly between the circular touchpad and the jump button over and over seemed less than ideal. Check out a video after the break to see the game in action and see what I mean.

Minecraft Pocket Edition on the Xperia Play