Mojang has announced a date for the big Better Together update to Minecraft on Switch, which will enable the unprecedented ability to earn Xbox achievements on the Nintendo console. The update will drop on June 21.
Microsoft announced the ambitious plan to unify the various versions of Minecraft with cross-play last year, which also meant you'd be signing into an Xbox Live account on each platform. The company then confirmed in a statement that, since you'd be signed into an Xbox Live account, you'd be earning Xbox Live achievements no matter where you are. The Better Together update, also known as the “Bedrock Update” for providing a unified framework, already released on September 20, 2017 for all platforms except Nintendo Switch.
Aside from enabling achievements, the big update allows cross-platform play between the multiple places Minecraft has landed over the years. A new bedrock physical version of Minecraft for Switch will release the day before the update goes live, and current owners of Minecraft on Switch can update to the new version for free.
While the update will allow you to play across platforms, it may not remain free to do so. Nintendo is rolling out its own paid online service later this year, and it will be required for most online games. A handful of games have been confirmed to be gated to paid members, while others will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Minecraft hasn't been announced as one of the games falling under the paid tier, but it very well could be. Nintendo's online service is significantly less than that of other consoles, though, at $20 per year.