Prior art: Minecraft cross-compatible edition tags, Tag synonym request: [minecraft-windows-10] -> [minecraft-pocket-edition], Tagging Minecraft for consoles

As part of the official release of the Better Together Update in September 2017, Minecraft combined , , and , all into a single version called the Bedrock Edition. Soon, this will also include the Nintendo Switch version (which curiously doesn't have a synonym).

These games all share the same code, and have cross-platform multiplayer. They are all considered the same edition of the game, as far as Mojang is concerned.

I'd like to propose that we:

I'd especially like some discussion on that last point, but here's what I have in mind. If:

  1. a question is tagged , , or both; and
  2. the question either is tagged or contains "PS3" in the body text

then we retag it as . Otherwise, we retag it as .

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    Sounds like a great idea. I was going to suggest it myself. – MasterOfTheTiger Jan 30 at 0:32
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    While this is a good idea, I'm a little worried about the "Do something about [minecraft-ps3]" as that is a bit of an unknown. How should this be handled? Do we need to go and retag questions? Do we just remove the synonym and any new questions about the ps3 version can use the separated tag? – Robotnik Jan 31 at 1:00
  • @Robotnik Agreed. That's the reason for the discussion tag, actually: I'm not sure what we should do about it. (I probably should've highlighted this in the post.) IMO these never should have been merged in the first place. I'll add my thoughts to the post. – Schism Jan 31 at 2:55
  • Aside: I'm surprised that Meta posts can be tweeted! Is that really the correct behaviour? – Schism Jan 31 at 3:00
  • This is strange: ATM I don't see minecraft-ps3/xbox/switch tags... I wonder why – Manchineel Feb 5 at 12:24
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    @alex2003super minecraft-switch doesn't exist. minecraft-ps3 and minecraft-xbox are tag synonyms for minecraft-console. – Schism Feb 5 at 14:40
  • @Schism Oh, this makes sense. I was on mobile and for some reason they weren't showing up in tags as synonyms. Dunno if bug, expected behaviour or /r/crappydesign – Manchineel Feb 6 at 19:23
up vote 6 down vote accepted

How Minecraft versions are organized

There are three main Minecraft codebases. To simplify, I'm gonna call them Java, Bedrock and Console.

Following are the versions of Java codebase:

  • Classic, Indev, Infdev, Alpha, Beta: pre-release development versions of the PC game

  • Minecraft (please note that, while this term is officially to be considered outdated, for most gamers this is what "Minecraft" means): the first, original Minecraft edition, that is playable on literally any OS that can handle Java and OpenGL. In fact, it is available for Windows, macOS, *nix systems (Unix, Linux etc.). Quite interestingly, it can even be run on Android, up to version 6 (Marshmallow), with a tool called Boardwalk. It has not cross-platform capabilities, however, being multiplayer based on a decentralized server infrastructure, online play is 100% platform agnostic, as long as everyone is playing this edition of the game. Being coded in Java, this version is highly reverse-engineerable so mods for it can be easily developed.

It has now been renamed to:

  • Minecraft: Java Edition: another name for the original version of Minecraft. Just that. This change is relatively recent.

  • Minecraft Server: a minimal, command line implementation of the Java codebase, in the form of a JAR executable. It does not require a license to run and can be used to create a multiplayer server, even if for bigger servers the use of a custom version (like Spigot) is recommended.

Following are the versions of Bedrock codebase:

  • Minecraft: Pocket Edition (a.k.a. PE): a mobile edition of the game, completely different from both the console and Java codebases, originally only developed as a secondary, smaller game, to be played on the go. It was made available on iOS, Android (both through the Google Play and Amazon App stores) and Windows Phone, even if - ironically - the latter version was deprecated pretty soon. The game is written in C++.

It has now been officially renamed into:

  • Minecraft: although the name change was quite controversial, it has been officially applied. This name now represents PE, Windows 10 Edition and was also ported to Xbox and Nintendo Switch: this version completely replaced the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch editions of the game. It provides cross-platform play across different consoles and devices via Xbox Live, although only on Xbox consoles is a subscription required for online play. Microsoft approved servers are also accessible from all platforms, but only from "non-jailed" platforms (Windows, Android, iOS) can user-created servers be connected to. The only official way to "create" a server on this platform is to purchase a Minecraft Realms subscription, which gives you an online world hosted by Microsoft in the cloud. The game also features a store, where user-created content can be sold and purchased, using an in-game currency called "Minecraft Coins". It should be noted that the only way to obtain those is by purchasing them with real money. Third-party server software exists, though it is often incompatible with updates and lacks core features, such as mobs. This version supports a very basic native modding API in the form of "Behaviour Packs".

  • Windows 10 Edition (now merged into Minecraft): it is a UWP version of the game, downloadable from Microsoft Store on any x86 device running Windows 10 (only 10, no 8.1/8/7/older OS is supported). It mustn't be confused with Minecraft: Java Edition, which can also run on Windows 10, but on many other platforms too.

  • Raspberry Pi Edition: a now abandoned application, based on old Minecraft PE and developed specifically for the ARM-based Raspberry Pi Single Board Computer. It comes included with the free Raspbian operating system, which is a distribution of Linux for the Raspberry Pi. It is completely free and it includes a Python language interpreter, which allows users to make the Minecraft world interact with sensors, GPIO pins, cameras et cetera.

  • Apple TV Edition: basically Pocket Edition without multiplayer for Apple TV (5th+ gen). It isn't getting any recent updates past 1.1.x: a "dead" game, as it was not even merged into the unified Minecraft game. Officially it is still an active Minecraft edition.

  • New 3DS Edition: this edition for the Nintendo New 3DS is relatively new, albeit based on an old Minecraft Pocket Edition release, with additional features such as multiplayer with other N3DS consoles and touch screen support. It's unclear wether or not it will be further developed in the future.

  • Gear VR Edition: this is an exclusive edition to Samsung Oculus Gear VR virtual reality platform. It gets the same updates as the unified Minecraft and has full cross-platform multiplayer capabilities with other Minecraft unified versions. It is controlled with a gamepad and the user can switch between an immersive, first person mode, and a mode where they are in a virtual room playing in front of a giant screen (the latter to reduce VR motion sickness).

The Console codebase was developed by 4J Studios, not Mojang. After Microsoft's acquisition of Mojang, the Redmond company has been constantly attempting to unify this platform with Bedrock. Following are the versions of Console codebase:

  • Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition: this is the first Console edition to ever be developed. It is exclusive to the Xbox 360 console and gets still updated today. Console editions are pretty limited compared to the others, but eventually they catch up with most of the features implemented in Bedrock and Java. This edition is for a last gen console, so it has a low world size and short draw distance. It can export worlds to be imported into Xbox One Edition and it features some exclusive Xbox DLC, as well as the standard content available on other Console platforms.

  • Minecraft: Xbox One Edition: this version is officially deprecated and a free upgrade to Minecraft (the Bedrock one) is offered to its users. Online play was shut down and it is instead available on the Bedrock-based game. It has the same DLC as Xbox 360. This edition is for a current gen console, so it has a high world size and long draw distance. Additionally, this edition can import worlds from Xbox 360, but not export them back, however they can be exported to the new Minecraft game.

  • Minecraft: PS3 Edition: this game is almost identical to the Xbox 360 Edition, exception made for a PS Vita world import/export feature and exclusive PlayStation DLCs.

  • Minecraft: PS Vita Edition: an edition made specifically for the PS Vita handheld console. Based on the PS3 Edition, it implements basic support for its touch screen and local ad-hoc multiplayer. It has a shorter render distance compared to the PS3.

  • Minecraft: PS4 Edition: it is almost identical to the Xbox One Edition, exception made for the touchpad support, exclusive PlayStation DLC and PS3/PS Vita world import features (worlds cannot be exported back though). Due to Sony's refusal to replace this version with Bedrock, this version is currently active, online play included.

  • Minecraft: Wii U Edition: as the name suggests, it is a version for the Wii U console. It is similar to the PS3/Xbox edition, but it runs at a lower resolution and is more expensive; the higher price is justified by some included exclusive Nintendo DLC. It is still getting updates.

  • Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition: this version is officially abandoned, players are offered a free copy of the new unified Minecraft, while on this edition the online servers are shut down. Worlds created on this version can be converted to the format for the new game on Nintendo Switch. World size is similar to that of next-gen consoles.

Edit:

This is my idea for tags:

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    It seems to me like most of the console versions can still be unified into one tag. You're clearly more well-versed in this than I am; can you think of any reason why we shouldn't do this? – Schism Feb 9 at 19:48
  • @Schism I edited and added some stuff – Manchineel Feb 10 at 17:25
  • ++. A few thoughts: (1) should we keep minecraft-console as a synonym, or just get rid of it? (2) I think we should consider adding dashes, e.g. minecraft-xbox-one, minecraft-ps-vita, minecraft-windows-10 ? (3) Ideally minecraft-windows-10 would just be a tag for the UWP version, I think; we could have minecraft-microsoft-store or minecraft-windows-app as a synonym. – Schism Feb 10 at 23:14
  • @Schism 1) I'd rename it as in the answer 2) yes, you are right 3) what I'm afraid of is people starting to type "minecraft" in the tags, getting "minecraft-windows-10" as a recommendation and just choosing it even if they are actually using Java Edition, "'cause this is Windows 10, isn't it?" – Manchineel Feb 10 at 23:57
  • I think that with a good enough usage note in the excerpt for minecraft-windows-10, we might be able to bypass that; established users could also help with retagging such questions. I think more viewpoints on this would be a good thing, though. – Schism Feb 11 at 1:09
  • Barring any additional discussion, I'm comfortable with accepting and getting started on this as a plan of action. Would you mind editing the checklist post I made below to match your plan? – Schism Feb 16 at 20:18
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    alex2003super & @Schism - Just a heads up that we haven't forgotten about this, but given [minecraft] is our largest tag by a long shot, us mods are discussing the potential rename and what effects this might have on SEO and such. We have a plan that we're going to put forward to the community at some point, we're just putting together the finishing touches, so stay tuned for that :) – Robotnik Feb 19 at 3:19
  • @Robotnik Just curious, but has any headway been made on this? :) – Schism Jun 11 at 19:53
  • @Schism nope, sorry, didn't have time to look into this and ended up forgetting about it. I'll be working at this ASAP now – Manchineel Jun 12 at 21:56
  • @alex2003super I think the mods are working on something, so no worries; we can hold off on actioning this for the moment :) – Schism Jun 13 at 3:58
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    @Schism Unfortunately all the mods (myself included) have been pretty flat out in terms of priorities (both Arqade priorities and personal) so this was put on the backburner for a little bit. Hoping to get some time in the next couple of weeks to finish up that plan – Robotnik Jun 13 at 5:11

This plan needs updating! Let's discuss on Manchineel's post. :-)

Slightly over a week has passed with no additional discussion, so I'm assuming that the community consensus is simply to follow the plan outlined above.

Here's a checklist of what needs to be done. Items starting with ♦ require moderator assistance.

  1. ☑ Create the tag.
  2. ☐ Write a tag wiki and excerpt for .
  3. ☐ ♦ Make , , and synonyms of .
  4. ☐ ♦ Create a synonym from to .
  5. ☐ ♦ Promote from a synonym to a tag proper.
  6. ☐ Retag questions to where appropriate, as outlined above.
  7. ☐ ♦ Merge and with .
  8. ☐ Retag all questions from to , allowing the former to be automatically deleted.
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    I've written a tag excerpt for minecraft-bedrock-edition that is still in the review queue, but I should finish a full tag wiki for it soon. – haykam Feb 5 at 21:36
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    Please note that Xbox 360 Edition, Xbox ONE Edition, PS4 Edition, Wii U Edition and PS Vita Edition still exist, however they all are minecraft-console, which is different codebase from Bedrock: they are all console edition. Of those, only the XBONE and Switch (latter for which a tag does not exist) Editions are to be considered legacy, while the others are still the last versions playable on the respective platform (even if PS3, PSV, 360 and WiiU are - unofficially - "zombie" consoles) – Manchineel Feb 6 at 19:29
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    @alex2003super - Thanks for the info. Are all those 'legacy' console versions the same codebase? It might be worth expanding that comment into an answer that lists out every pc, console and mobile version of Minecraft, and where they fit in terms of their codebase, if you're up to it. As it stands I currently have no idea, I've only ever played the OG Minecraft, and not in many years... – Robotnik Feb 7 at 2:15
  • @Robotnik yes, legacy consoles are still getting the same updates as the PS4, and are the same codebase, albeit with some differences in configuration and some extra features (e.g. Wii U gamepad screen gaming, PSVita Touch Screen, PS4 touchpad, different draw distances...). One of the biggest differences is that "legacy" consoles run with a much smaller world than the current-gen ones (like PS4 and XBONE) – Manchineel Feb 8 at 14:23
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    @Robotnik done. It's huge – Manchineel Feb 9 at 12:08

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