Microsoft teases Minecraft take on Pokemon Go

Microsoft had plenty of software reveals at Build 2019 on Monday, and hinted at gaming news. During the event, Microsoft released a teaser video of a new augmented reality (AR) Minecraft mobile game similar to Pokemon Go and Harry Potter Wizards Unite. There was no official name for the game, but there was a date of May 17 for the reveal. 

Embedded video

May 17 is an important date for Minecraft. Developer Mojang and Microsoft will hold a press event in Stockholm on the day to celebrate the game's 10-year anniversary.

AR games reached new heights when Pokemon Go was released in 2016 and became the fastest iTunes app to reach $1 billion at the time. It spawned several similar games including Ghostbusters World, Jurassic Park World Alive and the soon-to-be-released Harry Potter Wizards Unite

Microsoft didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Originally published on May 6, 10:42 a.m. PT. 
Update, 12:45 a.m. PT: Adds background info on event and AR games. 

Microsoft just teased a slick new Minecraft AR game for your phone

Microsoft has started to tease what appears to be a new Minecraft game for mobile devices. The software giant used a video at the end of the company’s Build 2019 keynote today to show Minecraft in augmented reality, running on a phone. In the video, Minecraft creative director Saxs Persson leaves his phone on a bench outside the Washington State Convention Center where Microsoft’s Build developer conference is being held. A passerby picks it up and is able to see Minecraft running in AR, suggesting that Microsoft is preparing a new game.

It’s not clear what this Minecraft game will be, but it could be a killer app for augmented reality. We’ve not seen many apps or games since Pokémon Go that have demonstrated the potential for augmented reality, and Pokémon Go has been downloaded more than 500 million times.

Microsoft isn’t commenting further about any plans for Minecraft AR. The teaser also notes that more information will be coming on May 17th, the 10-year anniversary of Minecraft. Microsoft has previously shown Minecraft running on the HoloLens headset, but that was simply a tech demo rather than a new game. Microsoft’s teaser feels like something bigger, especially as it’s clearly tied to 10 years of Minecraft. We should learn a lot more on May 17th.

Mojang makes $100K donation after Minecraft map pack downloaded 100K times

The Minecraft studio added another zero to last month's $10K donation to charity: water.

It wasn't the smoothest weekend ever for Minecraft studio Mojang, which rolled out the largest update in the game's history and very shortly thereafter discovered that it had turned the game's AI-controlled villagers into hyperactive, hyper-horny, and completely out-of-control jerks. But there's a spot of good news amidst all of that, too. 

In March, Mojang donated $10,000 to charity: water, a non-profit organization that works to make safe drinking water accessible in developing countries. Last week, it pledged to bounce that donation to $100,000, once a new map and skin pack called The Travelling Trader had been downloaded 100,000 times.   

“663 million people currently lack access to clean water (that’s almost 1 in 10 people), which makes the great work of charity: water absolutely essential. They want to bring clean water to as many people as possible, and we want to help them more,” Mojang wrote. “Charity: water estimates that the number of people impacted by a $100,000 donation is over 3,300. So all you have to do is download a great map and skin pack, and you’ll help us help a fantastic cause!”   

The pack was made by “excellent content creators” Jigarbov Productions, and it's free, which made achieving the goal almost inevitable. Even so, the quickness with which it happened is pretty impressive: 

Minecraft@Minecraft

You guys are just amazing! It didn’t even take you one day to make ‘The Travelling Trader’ reach 100,000 downloads. As promised, we will donate $90,000 to @charitywater. Great work everybody!2,3981:32 PM – Apr 27, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy254 people are talking about this

Microsoft announced today that it will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of Minecraft's release in May. Original creator Marcus “Notch” Persson will not be taking part.

Minecraft Villagers are Working, Sleeping, and Breeding Inside Player Homes

Recently introduced to Minecraft is the new Village and Pillage add-on, bringing a new wave of aspirations to the villager NPCs and prompting them to develop their day-to-day activities. In fact, it might have worked too well, because now the locals are working, sleeping, and—quite disturbingly—breeding inside player homes.

Have they no shame?

Have they no shame?
Numerous reports of nosy neighbors have appeared on Reddit since the update launched, spanning a wide variety of complaints. As reported by Kotaku, players have come home to find the villagers sleeping in their beds, small children jumping on said beds, stealing crops, and breeding wherever they please. There have even been reports of villager heads popping off while they sleep. No matter where your home is located, place it close enough to a village, and they will most certainly stop by. Fortunately, their interactions are always peaceful at the least. 

Minecraft

But have no fear; if you've recently come across these pesky villagers invading your home, the community has already responded with a few solutions. One Twitter user discovered an easy fix with a fishing rod, pulling any unwanted NPC out of your bed. And others have reported that the villagers aren't too good with stairs or gates, giving you a few options to protect your home. But perhaps the most important thing on the list is to simply have enough beds and workstations in the village for everyone. This should keep your neighbors well away from your house in the future, as they'll have plenty to keep occupied. 

As of now, there has yet to be an official statement on the villagers. But we'll get back to you on any potential fixes in the future. In the meantime, enjoy the not-so-peaceful interaction of the once tranquil NPCs.

Massive Minecraft Update Includes Pandas and Cartography

After being added to Xbox Game Pass, Minecraft fans have more to shout about this month as the game has received it’s long awaiting “Village and Pillage” update.

Version 1.14 brings with it a host of new features and animals, including adorable panda’s (and bamboo to accompany them), cartography, pillagers and crossbows. The pillagers have different professions, so expect to see butchers, shepherds and clerics inhabiting the world the next time you load into the game.

As well as the above we have fletching tables, a composter, foxes, junction blocks and ravagers, which are giant armoured bulls. As someone who hasn’t played Minecraft in a while, I’m fairly confused too, dear reader.
Players can also find wandering traders who travel across the landscape with a llama in tow, selling their wares. It all sounds a bit Breath of the Wild to me, which can only be a good thing for Minecraft fans looking for a more gritty adventure.

One of the more important sections of the patch notes makes light of the fact that baby pandas can sneeze and startle their guardians, and the new endangered mob have personalities, and can be “lazy, playful, worried or aggressive.” It’s nice to see some extra accessibility features available too, including a UI screen reader and a text-to-speech system.

You can read the entire changelog for yourself on Minecraft.net, where Mojang provides further detail on all of the fixes and features to expect when you next launch Minecraft on your platform of choice. 

ShackStream: More Minecraft Village and Pillage

It’s hard to believe, but it has been nearly a decade since Minecraft first appeared. On May 10, the game will see the 10-year anniversary of its original pre-classic release. Through years of additions, changes, and being sold to Microsoft, Minecraft became a worldwide phenomenon, selling about as many copies as the Bible.

The development team at Mojang has just released the newest update to the game, version 1.14. This version is formally known as the Village and Pillage Update. It adds loads of new blocks, mechanics, and bugfixes, as well as a new lighting system and reworked textures. On today’s episode of ShackStream, we continue our progress on the homely mountain love shack and will begin to venture outwards into the unknown wilderness.

The fun kicks off at 4:15 PM EDT (01:15 PDT) on the Official Shacknews Twitch Channel.

Watch live video from Shacknews on www.twitch.tv
As always, we’d like to take a moment and thank our subscribers and followers. These streams only happen due to your support and regular viewings. Another big thanks to those who participate in the Twitch chat. Your interaction means a lot to the streaming folks and is always appreciated. Viewers who have Amazon Prime are given one free Twitch Prime subscription a month if Amazon and Twitch accounts are linked. Check out our guide for more information on how to link your accounts.

Bug disables cloud saves on the Nintendo Switch version of the Minecraft video game

I weird bug is preventing owners of the Minecraft video game on Nintendo Switch from backing up their games to the Nintendo Online cloud service.

Many gamers on Reddit and Twitter had begun to wonder if the feature had deliberately been disabled due to Minecraft also using the Xbox Live cloud service for cloud saves and transferring data between devices but a Minecraft community manager chimed in on Twitter and confirmed that it is in fact a bug. A fix will likely be pushed out with an update in the near future.

@HelenAngel I see that cloud saves are no longer supported, why is that?

View image on Twitter

Uhhhhh that would be a bug312:12 PM – Apr 28, 2019 · Bellevue, WATwitter Ads info and privacySee Helen ‘s other Tweets

Minecraft is an incredibly popular video game made by the, now Microsoft-owned, Mojang game studio. The game is available on most gaming platforms and supports cross-save and crossplay between the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows 10, VR, and mobile devices.

Minecraft movie is currently in development.

Do you play Minecraft on the Nintendo Switch and have you been affected by this bug? Let us know in the comments below and then follow us on Pinterest for more gaming content.

Box Office: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Eyes Heroic Second Weekend

It’s safe to say Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” won’t be done breaking records any time soon. Up next, the Marvel box office behemoth has its sights set on securing the biggest domestic second weekend of all time.

That crown currently belongs to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” with its mighty $149 million sophomore outing in North America. “Avengers: Endgame” is already in uncharted territory after its jaw-dropping $357 million opening weekend, making it all the more difficult to predict just how big of a second weekend the superhero blockbuster is heading for. Even so, “Endgame” could endure a massive 57% decline in box office receipts from its debut and still surpass the benchmark set by “The Force Awakens,” which dipped 39.8%.

By comparison, “Avengers: Infinity War,” the precursor to “Endgame,” saw a 55% drop in sales during its second frame. It’s undisputed that the superhero finale will assemble sizable ticket sales this weekend, but even if “Avengers: Endgame” falls short of that particular goal, it will still be in rarified company. Admission for the blockbuster could plunge by 68% (a number that would be dire for many other movies) and still come in ahead of the second weekend’s of “Avengers: Infinity War” ($114 million), “Black Panther” ($111 million), and “Jurassic World” ($106 million).

On Tuesday, “Avengers: Endgame” collected $33 million, bringing its domestic haul to $427 million. After just five days, it’s already the highest-grossing movie of the year in North America, dethroning “Captain Marvel’s” $414 million and counting. Overseas, the tentpole just crossed the billion-dollar mark.

With $1.48 billion globally, “Avengers: Endgame” has now passed “Black Panther” ($1.34 billion) and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($1.4 billion) to become the eighth-biggest movie in only seven days in theaters. That stunning bounty has pushed Marvel Studios over $20 billion in ticket sales from the 22 films that comprise the comic-book empire’s cinematic universe.

Despite the clear chokehold “Avengers: Endgame” has over the exhibition industry, there are three new wide releases brave enough to take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Lionsgate’s “Long Shot,” a comedy starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, is banking on moviegoers needing a fix of laughter to cope with the devastating conclusion to the current phase of Marvel movies. Sony and Screen Gems are releasing psychological thriller “The Intruder,” while STX has “UglyDolls,” an original animated musical featuring Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, and other familiar voices. All three are targeting opening weekends in the low-teens.

“Long Shot,” one of this summer’s few funny movies aimed at adult audiences, is expected to earn between $9 million and $16 million when it opens in 3,100 North American locations. The raunchy R-rated romantic comedy stars Rogen as a journalist trying to win over his former babysitter (Theron), who is running for president. Jonathan Levine, who previously worked with Rogen on the Joseph Gordon-Levitt drama “50/50,” directed the movie, which was penned by comedy writer Dan Sterling and “The Post” scribe Liz Hannah. Rogen produced “Long Shot” with his longtime partner Evan Goldberg, as well as Theron. Reviews were mostly positive (it has an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes), though critics like Variety’s Peter Debruge cautioned that the “undeniably funny” movie fails to reflect a post-#MeToo world.

“UglyDolls,” targeting a much different audience than that of “Long Shot,” is an animated adventure based on the popular children’s toys. STX’s first foray into animation should collect $12 million to $16 million from 3,600 screens. “UglyDolls” takes place in Uglyville, where colorful fabric dolls long for the day they will meet their perfect human match. When Moxy (Clarkson), the group’s fearless ringleader, takes her pals on a journey to Perfection, a town filled with more conventionally appealing dolls, the band of misfits learn to embrace what it means to be unique. Clarkson, Jonas, Janelle Monae, and Pitbull recorded all new music for the musical movie. STX and Alibaba Pictures co-financed the project for $45 million. It was directed by Kelly Asbury, who previously helmed animated movies “Shrek 2” and “Gnomeo & Juliet.” The next few weeks will be especially competitive on the family front, with essentially all ages still purchasing tickets for “Avengers: Endgame,” and Warner Bros.’ “Detective Pikachu,” Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” and Disney’s “Toy Story 4” debuting this summer.

“The Intruder,” a PG-13 thriller, anticipates a start between $9 million and $16 million from 2,200 venues. The movie follows a young married couple, who after buying their dream house, realizes the seller (Dennis Quaid) has some shady intentions. It carries an $8 million price tag. Sony’s Screen Gems division has recently found success serving up modestly priced thrillers like “The Possession of Hannah Grace,” “Searching,” and “Slender Man.” Those three titles, which all all brought back solid box office receipts, cost under $10 million to produce. Talk about scary-good.

How ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Used Traffic’s ‘Mr. Fantasy’ to Honor Tony Stark

The band Traffic has probably been getting its heaviest web traffic ever this past week, thanks to the use of a 50-year-old song, “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” that plays briefly but inescapably in the first 10 minutes of the superhero epic. It’s the most prominent of the handful of pop songs that show up during the three-hour running time, at least before an even older oldie, from 1945, brings up the end credits.

And boomers who are well familiar with the Traffic tune as an FM staple for the last half-century may not be that much less initially puzzled by its appearance than millennials: Why isSteve Winwood warbling aboard the starship Benatar?

(Warning: Our answers include mild thematic spoilers, for the hundred or so arthouse partisans and shut-ins who haven’t seen the film.)

Of all the movies you might walk out of saying, “Man, music supervisor Dave Jordan really earned his salary on that one,” “Endgame” does not rank high. Like other “Avengers” movies, it doesn’t interrupt Alan Silvestri’s score for much else, usually throwing in pop only during a few key “Guardians of the Galaxy” crossover moments are happening, referencing the all-but-constant stream of ‘60s and ‘70s songs that figure into that universe as actual story points. So it’s inevitable that even more fanman and fanwoman scrutiny goes toward what few picks there are from Jordan (presumably) in a film like this one that doesn’t much sweat to the oldies. “Dear Mr. Fantasy” is a resonant enough pick that maybe he merits his paycheck after all.

The obvious tonal explanation: Traffic’s observation that (to quote the Eagles) most of us are sad is apropos, coming on the heels of an introductory scene that reminds us half of civilization went ashes-to-ashes at the end of the previous movie, a mass disappearance overseen by the malevolent rapturer Thanos (Josh Brolin). The literal explanation, clear to anyone who’s a little bit up on the Marvel universe: Glum Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) are playing flick football and awaiting certain death in deep space aboard the Benatar, where the Microsoft Zune belonging to absent Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) would have to be their source of tuneage.

(As “Guardians” viewers will recall, Quill/Star-Lord had his mother’s precious Walkman full of vintage songs smashed to bits in “2,” but quickly inherited from the late Yondu an equally dated and emotionally fraught piece of music hardware, the playlist of which will figure into “Guardians of the Galaxy 3,” James Gunn has promised.)

That leaves only the symbolic question to consider: Who’s Mr. Fantasy, in the Marvel, not Dave Mason, universe? Well, he’s Iron Man, of course — who in this sequel merits a more somber theme than either Black Sabbath or AC/DC could provide. “Endgame” may be an ensemble piece, but by the end of it he’s achieved something close to Main Character status. Tony Stark is the class clown whose melancholia creeps up only sarcastically and around the edges — the troupe’s go-to entertainer as well as constant savior, who maybe can’t juggle being both the wisecracking kid and genius-father-knows-best figure forever. “Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy,” sings Winwood, maybe referring — 50 years ahead of time — to Stark’s role as joker. “You are the one who can make us all laugh, but doing that you break out in tears.” Is Tony still an emotionally warped guy, despite all the domestication he’s been through since first appearing as a playboy billionaire in 2008? “Please don’t be sad — if it was a straight mind you had, we wouldn’t have known you all these years.” Maybe the filmmakers are trying to tell us that Tony is still so messed up, even Pepper Potts couldn’t reasonably say, “I will fix you.”

The needle is up almost as quickly as it was dropped: three hours doesn’t mean there’s time to fetishize a record (or MP3) collection. There are a couple of choices that don’t require a lot of overthinking— Steppenwolf’s “Hey Lawdy Mama” gives Stan Lee a chance to go out on a sleazebag cameo, and the Rolling Stones’ “Doom and Gloom,” from a few hits collections back, finally gets some sync love during a time-travel prep scene.

The most fun pick, though, is the Kinks’ “Supersonic Rocket Ship,” which doesn’t just push the obvious button in accompanying the scene where Rocket Raccoon and the Hulk travel to re-recruit Thor, but does actually describe the spirit of inclusiveness the “Guardians” franchise is meant to embody: “On my supersonic rocket ship, nobody has to be hip,” Ray Davies promised in the swingin’ jet age of 1967. “Nobody’s gonna travel second class / There’ll be equality / And no suppression of minorities / Well alright.”

The artists who gets the most audio time in “Endgame,” though?  Harry James (and his orchestra) and Kitty Kallen, who get a reprise of Jule Styne’s and Sammy Cahn’s end-of-WW-II-celebrating “It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” reprised from a “Captain America” movie for a twist on bringing the boys back home. It doesn’t seem like Steve Rogers’ taste, necessarily, but it’d be nice to think he took advantage of his time-travel sojourn to take in a Traffic show.

It’s the bittersweetly cheerful bookend to that bummer-iffic opening. “Dear Mr. Fantasy” resonates in part because it was one of the early songs to make the Summer of Love feel like winter was coming. That it can serve a similar, lightly ominous purpose in a comic book franchise laden with heartache in 2019 is an interesting addition to the zeitgeist in a year when we’re trying to decide whether resuscitating Woodstock is a good idea or not. Tony Stark, hippie jester in billionaire-industrialist-superhero’s clothing, we hardly knew ye.

BEST ‘MINECRAFT' 1.14 SEEDS: 7 NEW VILLAGE AND PILLAGE SEEDS TO TRY

Looking for a great new Minecraft 1.14 seed to try? Here are a few of our favorites

Minecraft’s much-anticipated Village and Pillage update (1.14) released this week, and what better way to get into the spirit of the new content than with some brand new seeds. With Village and Pillage just releasing, we're sure to see a ton of new 1.14 seeds cropping up in the upcoming weeks and months. For now, we've put together a list of seven cool Java seeds to use in the latest Minecraft version 1.14. Enjoy!

Best Minecraft 1.14 Seeds: 7 New Java Seeds To Try

Best, minecraft, 1, 1, 4, seeds, new, update, java, pc, village, pillage

Minecraft 1.14 Seed – 10101010MICROSOFT

Double Village Seed – 10101010

Coordinates –  x: -500 z: 263

This is a beautiful new 1.14 seed has two villages right by spawn.  This is the more cool looking one. The seed includes a castle with a drawbridge. The terrain is beautiful and varied and both villages are within eyesight of an iceberg. More photos of the seed can be found, here

Taiga Seed – 1456770887

Best, minecraft, 1, 1, 4, seeds, new, update, java, pc, village, pillage,

Minecraft 1.14 Seed – 1456770887MICROSOFT

If you're looking for a seed that will spawn you inside a Taiga village, this one is quite good. The seed includes a mineshaft at coordinates x: 163, y: 33, z: 245 and a zombie village at coordinates x: -816, y: -192.

Savannah Village Seed – 8610880672223669423

Best, minecraft, 1, 1, 4, seeds, new, update, java, pc, village, pillage,

Minecraft 1.14 Seed – 8610880672223669423MICROSOFT

Coordinates – x: 276, y: 1049

This stunning seed has a Savannah village that climbs up a mountainside The seed even includes a pirate ship nearby.

Desert Well Seed – 2209676534823432504

Best, minecraft, 1, 1, 4, seeds, new, update, java, pc, village, pillage

Minecraft 1.14 Seed – 2209676534823432504MICROSOFT

Coordinates x: 2247, y: 281

This seed spawns you near a village to the northeast. Exploring this seed, you'll find things like a desert well, pyramid and a ship with a couple of chests.

Stronghold Seed – 6338394802327870500

Best, minecraft, 1, 1, 4, seeds, new, update, java, pc, village, pillage

MInecraft 1.14 Seed – 6338394802327870500 REDDIT

Stronghold Coordinates – x:1432, y: 952

This seed is a Taiga spawn. There is a ravine to cross and players can find a stronghold and a mineshaft here.

Frozen Polar Biome Seed – 2646137890119988483

 Best, minecraft, 1, 1, 4, seeds, new, update, java, pc, village, pillage

Minecraft 1.14 Seed – 2646137890119988483REDDIT

Coordinates- x: -1637, y: 63, z: 1416

If you're looking for a frozen wonderland, complete with polar bears, this is your seed!

Large Mountain Seed – 8229589436093457009

Best, minecraft, 1, 1, 4, seeds, new, update, java, pc, village, pillage, april, 2019

Minecraft 1.14 Seed – 8229589436093457009REDDIT

Coordinates –  x: 329 z: 267

If you love a detailed terrain, you won't be able to resist this large mountain seed. You can check out additional images, here. https://imgur.com/a/9p3mqPp

Multiple Biomes Seed -7358942493423380506

Best, minecraft, 1, 1, 4, seeds, new, update, java, pc, village, pillage, april, 2019 taiga, castle, mountain, biome

Minecraft 1.14 Seed -7358942493423380506REDDIT

Coordinates – x: -175, y: 90, z: -245

This seed is perfect for the biome explorer. It includes a swamp, plains, savanna, and desert all right near the spawn point.