During Microsoft’s //Build Conference back in May, their subsidiary Mojang began teasing some sort of Minecraft augmented reality experience for smartphones. Just a couple of weeks later that experience was officially announced as Minecraft Earth, and it appeared that you’d be able to build your typical Minecraft creations in AR but it wasn’t totally clear what else was in store for the game. Then when WWDC rolled around in June, an onstage demo showcased what else Minecraft Earth was capable of, mainly taking your small scale builds and transforming them into life-sized buildings that you could run around in with your friends in AR. Pretty crazy stuff, actually. Then just last month Mojang announced sign-ups for a Minecraft Earth closed beta, but it was limited to just iOS users. This week they are expanding to the Android side of things and those 18 or older that have a device that runs at least Android 7 and have a Microsoft or Xbox Live account can sign up now on the Minecraft Earth website.
Of course, being a closed beta means that just signing up doesn’t guarantee you access to the Minecraft Earth beta whether you’re on iOS or Android. Mojang is picking beta participants based primarily on location so that they can stress test the various servers that are needed to run the game. Also progress wipes will be happening throughout the beta, so that’s something to consider. I enjoy beta testing from time to time but often I’d rather be patient and wait for all the issues to be ironed out and play the final release whenever it comes. But if you’re the adventurous type and want to try your hand at taking Minecraft Earth for an early spin, definitely sign up for the closed beta and see if you end up being one of the lucky few.