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Minecraft Pocket Edition on Xperia Play: Hands-on pictures and first impressions

So the first version of Minecraft Pocket Edition touched down in the Android Market today and we’ve spent a bit of time tinkering on our Xperia Play.

Though an early first version that Mojang is calling ‘Alpha 0.1’, we’re really impressed with Minecraft Pocket Edition so far.

When you create a new world, you can enter a seed or leave it blank and a random world will be generated. It takes a few seconds to generate worlds and once you’re in, Minecraft automatically saves your progress.

Quitting the game takes you to the title screen from where you can simply start again, or generate a new world.

The controls as they’ve been mapped to the Xperia Play’s pad make perfect sense. The D-Pad handles movement (forward, back and strafe left/right) while the right hand touch pad controls where you look and point the crosshair.

You scroll left and right through the list of available blocks and tools using the square and circle buttons, press X to jump and press Triangle to call up a more comprehensive menu of tools and textures.

Press the L shoulder button to dig away at blocks and press R to place new ones. Minecraft feels perfectly integrated on the Xperia Play with everything running smoothly.

We wonder how this will translate to other phones with just touchscreens, but we’re sure that a workaround can be figured out.

You get the occasional ghosting of hillsides and trees popping into existence instead of looming out of the smoky haze. This doesn’t happen all that often and it really doesn’t impinge on the gameplay at all; we’ve experienced little to no lag and no massively slow frame rates. Everything is otherwise as smooth as silk.

Speaking of gameplay, you’re a little limited in terms of what you can do right now. Though you can build some simple structures like our little hut here, there are no ghosts or zombies to slay. There’s no multiplayer besides a LAN option that we’ve not been able to try out with anyone yet. Any takers out there want to help build Chateaux Recombu over a pint at some point?

So while it’s a pretty solitary experience right now, we’re really looking forwards to seeing how this will evolve. Here’s to Survival Mode and collaborations across the web. Howl’s Moving Castle and Starship Enterprise, here we come.


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