The first exclusive for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play has arrived. Indie gaming sensation Minecraft, from Mojang, hit the Android Market today in the form of Minecraft: Pocket Edition, on sale for $6.99. For reference, the full version of Minecraft runs €14.95, or roughly $22.
Just like the original, Minecraft: Pocket Edition is launching in Alpha. Alpha 0.1 features randomly generated worlds to explore, 36 different types of blocks to build with and local multiplayer, but it lacks the crafting and survival elements that have helped make Minecraft so popular over the last year and a half.
Mojang promises "to continue developing the Pocket Edition for a long time with frequent updates." They want hear from users what features should be added next, which means they're waiting to see how large the install base is before spending too much time fleshing out the feature set.
When Brian Dipert reviewed the Xperia Play for us, he praised the device's gaming capabilities but knocked it for the "dearth of compelling Xperia Play-optimized content." Though it's on sale through the Android Market, Minecraft: Pocket Edition is optimized for Sony's gaming smartphone.
"We have tried to put in the features that make sense for playing on a mobile device while still keeping the core of the Minecraft experience," said Mojang. "You will be able to select blocks on the touchscreen or just scroll through them with the circle and square buttons on the Xperia Play device."
Minecraft, the first-person sandbox game from creator Markus "notch" Persson, recently hit the three million copies sold mark. Minecraft: Pocket Edition is the game's first release outsode of the PC/Mac/Linux triumvirate. Official iOS/Android versions are currently in development, as is a Kinect-enabled version for the Xbox 360.