Mojang just announced on its official blog that on July 29, a special edition of Minecraft will be released for all devices running Windows 10. This beta version will be offered for free to users who already have the Java version of the game and have upgraded to Windows 10, but will otherwise cost $10 for the duration of the beta period.
At its core, the Windows 10 version of Minecraft will be the same one found on the app store (Pocket Edition). Judging by the tweets of Minecraft developer Tommaso Checchi, these two versions will be developed together, receiving new features over time.
There is no word of the old Java version, which probably means players will be left to their own devices. The rumor right now is that Minecraft on Windows 10 will be the only version that will function with the Oculus Rift and Steam VR devices, as we’ve seen in the E3 Hololens demo. The supported input devices are touch, keyboard, mouse and controller, changeable on the fly, with multiplayer that can be local or via Xbox Live.
This announcement has a very interesting implication: namely, that Microsoft is slowly switching to Minecraft as its flagship video game franchise. Though Halo is still clinging on, as the Windows 10 personal assistant is called Cortana, Microsoft seems to be wholly dedicated to using Minecraft as a way to bolster sales of unrelated software and hardware in the future. Minecraft, Minecraft everywhere.