Android Pocket Edition -- Version 0.2.1 -- 11 February 2012
iOS Pocket Edition -- Version 0.2.0 -- 17 February 2012
Windows PC -- Version 1.1 -- 12 January 2012
Xbox 360 LIVE Arcade -- Version ?.?.? -- ?? May 2012
The differences between the PC version and the Pocket Edition are many, but they can be easily summed up by pointing out that the PC Edition of the game is the full Edition, while the Pocket Edition is a heavily stripped-down version supporting only a single mode -- Creative -- and limited resource types.
The differences between the PC Edition and The Xbox 360 LIVE Arcade Edition
are a bit more difficult to define largely because the 360 version has not yet been released, so any comparisons naturally falls into the realm of speculation. Please consult the Xbox 360 LIVE Arcade Section of this guide to review the information that we do have about that game edition, which includes hand's-on time spent with the game at E3.
-- Currently Developed Modes --
At the time of the writing of this guide the Pocket Edition of Minecraft supports only a stripped-down version of Creative mode, while the Windows PC Edition contains the full Creative Mode, as well as the more popular Survival Mode and the tougher Hardcore Mode, which is a version of Survival that is locked at the highest difficulty settings and that has very serious consequences for death (instead of re-spawning upon death, the player's game world is deleted).
There are a number of additional game modes that are either in concept or in active development, but that have not been rolled out as part of the build. These include:
-- Adventure Mode --
Conceived as a means for adding a controllable Adventure System to the game, Adventure Mode is meant to allow for the Introduction
and play of community-created maps that feature puzzles and structured adventure challenges that may require the player to take specific routes, work out clues or puzzles, and otherwise play within the artificial constraints for the level design.
While this sort of play and play style has been tried in the past, the player's ability to delete, break, and place blocks and other game environment elements rendered the "challenges" for an Adventure Map to be optional. The creation of Adventure Mode will include locking out the player's ability to destroy blocks and other impediments, essentially preventing them from cheating.
The design stage for creating maps for this mode of play will include some automated features such as dungeon generation, as well as programmable maps, buttons, pressure plates, and levers, and the option to enable perma-death to allow the host or creator to create clues, adventure aids, goals, limitations, meaningful penalties, and systems for creating the puzzles around which this mode is centered.
Support for both Single-player and SMP play is planned, and some form of this mode is planned for release to the Xbox 360 version of the game after its release in May, 2012.
-- Capture the Flag Mode --
This mode is in development, and is planned for deployment as a multi-player game play mode.
The primary objective for this mode is to allow the creation of goal-oriented challenges for player teams who will try to capture the enemy flag (this can actually be any item, and not necessarily a flag) from their base (or alternate location) and then succeed in moving it from the enemy base back to the player's base, while other members of their team attempt to guard the flag belinging to their team and prevent its capture.
When this mode was originally proposed it received strong support from the Minecraft community, with an enthusiastic measure of chatter on the official forums supporting the interest level to an extent that it was an easy decision to add the mode to the planned development schedule.
Early descriptions of the mode include support for new items (a Red Flag, Blue Flag and the Flag Stand), and settings for use by server admins to shape the different requirements for victory for game sessions under this mode.
It has been confirmed that the Capture the Flag Mode will be included as a launch feature for the Xbox 360 Edition, appearing on Microsoft's console well before it will be added to the PC or the mobile versions.
Some of the larger websites serving the Minecraft fan base have voiced the idea that this new mode, when it is released for both the Xbox and the PC platforms, will likely serve as the official mode for contests and event play, with some sites already planning sponsored contests.