Chalk up another award for the dream team that is Mojang! In only 24 hours since its release on Xbox Live Arcade, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition has already broken digital sales records. It would appear that lightning has struck twice for the superstar indie developer and their flagship IP – but some players have been left feeling the burn.
After the swift success of Minecraft on the PC, it was logically assumed that ports of the charmingly simplistic sandbox game would appear on consoles. Fast-forward a few months, as well as a whole lot of hype, and here we are: Minecraft has finally arrived on the Xbox 360, and our own Riley Little has already given it a pretty thorough review.
While Minecraft has been breaking records and setting examples for XBLA, it turns out a few key issues still remain. First and foremost, a main feature and huge draw of the Xbox 360 version is the ability to craft your mines with up to four players – provided you’re using an HDTV. Casual gamers still using SDTVs will be locked out of this feature, and there is no prior warning whatsoever from the port’s developer – 4J Studios.
One would think that with the retro, pixellated style of the game that there would be enough real estate on the screen to go around — Nintendo has been doing this for years with nary a complaint. In fact, I can’t actually can’t play the game myself – since I use an earlier large format plasma screen that is not an HDTV. Being that this is a major selling point of the game, there is no doubt the developers should have given potential buyers fair warning.
Microsoft issued a statement shortly after buyer outrage started to fill up XBLA forums:
“In order to deliver the best consumer experience, and to support the text needs of the inventory and crafting system, split-screen multiplayer in Minecraft does require an HD screen. Currently, in-game prompts alert players of the HD requirements for split-screen multiplayer.”
What do you think, Ranters: is it fair for Microsoft to simply cut-out non-HD TV owners – without fair warning – just to keep user interfaces fully-readable?
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition is available now on Xbox Live Arcade for 1600 Microsoft Points ($20).
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