News Article

Nintendo Open To Minecraft on Wii U and 3DS, and Expanding Its Popularity in Japan

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Shigeru Miyamoto teases, "maybe we're meeting with them!"

Minecraft is everywhere, and it's a phenomenon. It's on a significant number of platforms, with releases confirmed to be on the way for PS4 and Xbox One, while its PS3 and Xbox 360 versions continually rest in the top 10 of sales charts in major territories such as the US. A social, creative title with iconic blocky visuals, it's loved by adults but, perhaps most importantly, millions of children.

We've recently argued that it's not too late for Nintendo to join the Minecraft party, though E3 passed without any "Minecraft for Wii U and 3DS" moments on which to hang our hat. It remains an odd state of affairs, especially as both Nintendo's systems combine touch screen controls with physical inputs and the company has reminded us of the importance of children to the company's future. It seems like a partnership destined to come together, yet inexplicably has not happened.

This was raised with Shigeru Miyamoto and Shinya Takahashi by Kotaku during E3, and Takahashi-san — who manages Nintendo's Software Planning & Development teams — acknowledged that the iconic title had been discussed internally within Nintendo.

We've always thought internally that using the [Wii U] GamePad would probably make for a Minecraft that's very easy to play. And, of course, if we were to do something with Minecraft on the 3DS, similarly we would probably do it where it would be easier to play and could probably reach a lot of kids.

What's interesting is that, in Japan, Minecraft is not popular in the way it is in the U.S. and Europe, so we've also thought that, if we were able to do a partnership like that, it might bring opportunity to help make Minecraft more popular in Japan.

Shigeru Miyamoto admitted that, though he'd heard of Minecraft, he's not played it himself. After highlighting that Nintendo's hardware is the only option that supports both touch and analogue control, Miyamoto-san signed off with a tease.

Maybe we're meeting with them! Who knows?

The seemingly endless strong sales of Minecraft on multiple platforms suggest that it's not finished yet, with more versions — as mentioned above for PS4 and Xbox One — still coming. Perhaps Nintendo can still join in.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (116)

Jazzer94

#1

Jazzer94 said:

Needs to happen. I mean imagine special Nintendo themed packs for the game as dlc costumes, special building items/tools.
+The gamepad is easily the most suited control method out of all the consoles.

Swiket

#2

Swiket said:

I want it to happen just to stop the weekly forum threads about it. "What if Minecraft came to the Wii U/3DS?"

C-Olimar

#3

C-Olimar said:

Nintendo should form a strong partnership with Mojang. Allow the use of Mario, Zelda etc skins in the Nintendo versions of Minecraft and help make it big in Japan (with the Wii U version the lead platform). I hope this happens.

Knuckles

#4

Knuckles said:

I would be sad if this game saved the Wii U, but I would be grateful nonetheless.

Jellal

#5

Jellal said:

I'm not sure the 3ds is powerful enough to handle large worlds in Minecraft

MAN1AC

#7

MAN1AC said:

This should have been a game that they pursued a long time ago. It sells very well and matches their target demographic.

But this is probably a sign that its not happening. Miyamoto wouldn't have suggested a possibility if it was actually going to. Its just not the way him or Nintendo operate these days.

Xtremetdifan

#8

Xtremetdifan said:

Minecraft 3ds and wiiu would boost hardware sales significantly.
A mobile minecraft with actual buttons?
Yes please
HD Minecraft with dual screens and miiverse?
Yes please

Cresartist

#10

Cresartist said:

Considering what Miyamoto just said about making it more popular in Japan with the Wii U, considering how it's selling better than the PS4 at the moment, sure, go for it. Won't kill them to at least try.

I would like for it to be a unique version, even though use of the gamepad is on board, such as having Nintendo-themed items exclusive to the Wii U version (like the Mushroom mode in Tekken TT2) as well as texture packs and character skins.

Geonjaha

#12

Geonjaha said:

@Jazzer94 - Yeah that sounds like a pretty terrible idea. Charging for DLC on Minecraft when the PC version lets you make whatever you want in skins or mods for free? No thanks. If its all free then I'd still go for it, but it'd be nice if you could at least make your own skin using the gamepad.

None the less, it'd be nice to see if they implement the controller well into the game. It wont be for me though, I already have the PC version and I've played it to death.

TobiasAmaranth

#16

TobiasAmaranth said:

Terraria > Minecraft, especially in Japan btw. I think Nintendo should pursue Terraria for Wii/3DS because it has a better Nintendo feel, imo. :)

unrandomsam

#17

unrandomsam said:

@Cresartist How can stuff be exclusive when it can be modded into the PC version whenever people feel like it ? (Someone implemented the entirety of the first Legend of Zelda in it as it is).

6ch6ris6

#18

6ch6ris6 said:

3DS won't be able to handle minecraft. and there is no second analog nub. camera control with stylus just isn't good enough.

wiiU however. why didn't it happen already???

Dinosaurs

#20

Dinosaurs said:

Kids love minecraft, loads of 'em. Parents know more about minecraft than the Wii U

ToxieDogg

#21

ToxieDogg said:

I've played quite a lot of Minecraft on Xbox 360 but I'd quite happily double dip and buy a Wii U version, think the Gamepad could make a fantastic difference to the experience. Do it, Mojang!

Josaku

#22

Josaku said:

I played minecraft since it's alpha stage and I got the Xbox360 version wich disapointed me a little bit because it controlled not that good, but that's because of the controller and I knew that before I bought it. I would really like to see Minecraft coming to Wii U and I would definitly buy that version as well, because everything that bothered me on the Xbox360 version would be handled right on the wii U just because of that second screen on the controller. (I'm thinking about the inventory and the menus in generel)

FragRed

#24

FragRed said:

Personally I cannot see the appeal in Minecraft, and I have tried it several times. Just can't see what all the fuss is about. But I do agree that Minecraft would be hugely important for the Wii U to have. However, whether it is a system seller or whether is something I am not sure about.

SahashraLA

#25

SahashraLA said:

Every single new Miiverse post Nintendo makes is flooded with 'U suck, Y know Minecrafts?'
Which is hilarious.
The 3DS version might be worth the investment, but I'm not sure about Wii U. The Gamepad would work well, but after hearing the Scram Kitty / Kirby criticisms about not wanting 'handhelds on consoles', it seems hypocritical to push a single screen experience on something like Wii U.
Inventory / blocks on the Gamepad and typical Minecraft on the TV? The game has never interested me, but I have at least two friends that would probably buy the game.

Mega719

#26

Mega719 said:

Notch is in to the idea too this makes way too much sense to not happen would be a huge missed opportunity. Maybe Nintendo themselves could do it since they want to increase appeal in Japan and Notch even said they'll need a developer to handle the porting

DBPirate

#27

DBPirate said:

This would be perfect! Items on the Gamepad...maybe even a Creeper Tracker...

MrGawain

#28

MrGawain said:

I don't understand the appeal of Minecraft, but I know my nephew spends more time watching videos on Youtube about it than actually playing the game.

Saying that, is it actually a game? Or is it a toy like digital Lego?

kereke12

#29

kereke12 said:

Minecraft needs to happen!!!!!! I can imagine the possibilitys with 3DS & Wii U. Imagine all those cool kick a** DLC!!!!!

bistricky

#30

bistricky said:

@Mega719

Help me out. When and where did Notch say these things? (Do you got a link to it?) Last we heard from Notch was during Christmas and he said they got too much work for the other systems (which they still are labouring on) to find the time to make it for the Wii U. If Notch has changed his tune recently, then maybe we got something going here .... posting what Notch said is bigger news then this article. Otherwise, I think this is just like last Christmas .... which ends with no Minecraft for Wii U.

Mega719

#31

Mega719 said:

@bistricky I wasn't saying all that is what he said he said he said it makes sense but is too caught up in work. He didn't say he doesn't want this too happen

Discostew

#32

Discostew said:

I'm not too keen on the Minecraft surge, but good for those wanting it on Wii U if a deal is made to bring it over.

bistricky

#35

bistricky said:

@Mega719

Thanks for your reply Mega719 . I really want Minecraft to come to the Wii U but honestly there is nothing new here. Too bad for us Wii U and Minecraft fans.

" Maybe we're meeting with them! Who knows?" is wishful thinking ..... it was said in jest ..... It is not "Yes, we are in negotiations ... more info coming"

Minecraft may come to the Wii U and 3DS one day but not until XB1, PS4 and Vita is completed (that tune hasn't changed since Christmas 2013).. This article borders on click-bait.

MadAdam81

#38

MadAdam81 said:

I still haven't bought Minecraft, but I've been following it since it's alpha release. Wii U version I would buy day one (my daughter would disown me if I didn't).

PvtOttobot

#40

PvtOttobot said:

@6ch6ris6 "camera control with stylus just isn't good enough." xD ... x'D ... x'D'''' have you played 'pocket edition'?! Camera controls with a stylus will be at least 10 times bettter than a thumb on a tiny screen!!

MrWalkieTalkie

#42

MrWalkieTalkie said:

Interested in that collaboration idea with Mojang. They could make exclusive Nintendo themed mobs and blocks to the Wii U & 3DS version. Maybe even make amiibo figurines and advertise it all over Japan.

Dpullam

#43

Dpullam said:

The only way I'd be interested in playing Minecraft is if it came to Wii U. I am pretty focused on playing only that system right now so a confirmed release someday would be great news!

TheWPCTraveler

#46

TheWPCTraveler said:

All I'll say is that Minecraft most likely won't happen on the 3DS.

I'd love a Wii U version, though.
That would most like tear down the sales of PS3/360 Minecraft, though.

rjejr

#48

rjejr said:

3DS isnt powerful enough AND considering how long it takes to port Nintendos new handheld would be out by then so no point.

Wii U could really use a version, though even if they started working on it today its still a long way out, but they should. One problem though - PS4 and X1 versions are supposed to be 10x bigger than PS3 and 360 so if Wii U only got the old version, not good. But still better than not at all.

Nintendo should just make their own mod and run with it. My kids have watched endless hours of Diamond Minecart - I have dreams of Treyarus and Grimm just from the background noise - so a Dinosaur Office like Youtube show of Mario in Minecraft land could be huge.

Yes forr Wii U, no for 3DS, big yes for whatever Nintendo comes up with next.

Crispyo

#49

Crispyo said:

I dont see how it would help 3ds and wii u sales, this game is a mega multi platform title i cant imagine anyone buying a wii u just for minecraft. But im still all for it id get it on my wii u and 3ds.

Link506

#51

Link506 said:

It would be very nice. I would still buy it, but Mincraft has kind of died out for me. It's not really as fun anymore. But I would still buy it.

ultraraichu

#53

ultraraichu said:

Can't say I'm in on the minecraft craze, but if it was on the Wii U, I may try it out for curiosity sake.

Vincent294

#56

Vincent294 said:

@rjejr It probably could, the processors should be able to handle it, the RAM is what is difficult to work with. That and coding could take a while, though the 3DS does run on an ARM processor like most phones do. It could be interesting.

mariovslink62

#58

mariovslink62 said:

I hope to see Minecraft on the Wii U! Also allow us to get exclusive content such as a super mario level

Yosher

#59

Yosher said:

If this would come to the Wii U with Nintendo-based stuff, I would definitely love to give it a try. Not much of a PC gamer though, so I won't ever be getting it on there anyway.

Shambo

#60

Shambo said:

I wouldn't be who I am if a good Wii U disc version would not instantly make me sell my still unplayed PS3 version, and get the Wii U version instead...

Birthday_Boy

#61

Birthday_Boy said:

I can only play Minecraft with friends, and even then, it's tough to get me building objects in any game. With that said, I would love to see Minecraft U. Dual screens, Miiverse, Motion Control capabilities. I would buy the game.

Vyper68

#62

Vyper68 said:

My nephew loves playing Minecraft on my brothers 360 when he's allowed on it. But if it came out on the Wii U they would never get him out of his room : )
But I would welcome it on Wii U or 3DS. I play it on PS3 quite a bit and i find it strangely relaxing instead of running around shooting stuff.

AyeHaley

#64

AyeHaley said:

Well my laptop can hardly run minecraft and the PE on my iPad hasn't been updated to 0.90 yet so...bring it on :D I play MC almost every day.
The Wii U could be the ultimate vanilla MC machine. If they make this happen I'm getting my own realm for 10 bucks a month.

eltomo

#65

eltomo said:

I own minecraft on 2 platforms, but on a nintendo device is where I want it! Wii U would be a special place because of the pad!

Vriess

#67

Vriess said:

This game is soooo well suited for the Wii U and 3DS. It needs to happen!

SigourneyBeaver

#68

SigourneyBeaver said:

"After highlighting that Nintendo's hardware is the only option that supports both touch and analogue control..."

Erm, Vita anyone?

Sean_Aaron

#73

Sean_Aaron said:

What if Nintendo licensed it and not only did the port themselves but maintained it, giving Mojang a cut without them having to do the work? I'm sure it would lead to a fork, but then Nintendo could do very different things with it than other platforms.

Of course Nintendo could just make a competing product as well like a 3D Mario Maker that would offer similar construction toy elements with a uniquely Mario feel that wouldn't be the same as Minecraft, but still scratch that creative itch.

nostalgianinja

#74

nostalgianinja said:

3DS Factors:

@Jellal I think it should be perfectly be able to handle the worlds, considering how the chunk system works. The game loads files in 128x128 (which can be adjusted accordingly to 64x64 if needed) chunks, which could then be used to parse in distances and several other calculations. DSCraft, the homebrew DS Minecraft clone was strictly creative mode only, but it had its potential to show that it could work. it was a little glitchy because it was a big job. I had lots of fun playing around with it while I was in the homebrew gaming scene. The Fact that the 3DS can handle large chunks is just as well a good excuse (Talking Colors 3D as well, since it works on a large chunk system to memorize drawing processes).

@6ch6ris6 I believe it would work similarly to what Monster Hunter would operate then, with the option of adding the Circle Pad Pro. Touch control may be a little sticky, but you could use the format of pressing a button for that to happen. There's loads of control possibilities and options that can be made to retrofit the console.

I wouldn't say it's impossible for a Minecraft 3DS. it's always possible if you put your mind and energy on it. I'd say it's improbable due to the amount of programming that is needed behind the system (3DS/Wii U doesn't support Java, you know.) With other optional extras being Gyroscope control and Spotpass/Streetpass support along with item utilization it's got a lot of factors to take into consideration. 3D is always something to consider, although I think it would lower FPS if that's the case and cause a little bit of a motion blur in the concept itself.

Wii U Factors: A lot of people have supported this, although I think it would be a little more interesting to see this in action rather than speak of the features. Who knows, maybe it would be a little bit of a good idea.

Personally, I think there is a possibility for it, just Nintendo need to talk to Mojang about it.

(Misc: Terraria sounds like a good idea on the 3DS and the Wii U, but I'm not sure what the secondary screen function would be, perhaps someone could give me a little perspective on this, since I haven't really played Terraria?)

That's all I'm saying. Don't expect any replies for me on this topic.

WiiLovePeace

#75

WiiLovePeace said:

I tried Minecraft on PC once while it was still in beta. Got stuck in a hole in the ground & then never played it again. Good times. I'd probably buy it on Wii U & give it a 2nd chance, I obviously didn't play enough to write it off. & at the very least I could explore other people's creations.

tysonfury

#77

tysonfury said:

Yaya! Now give us Sim City for the Wii U as an HD version of the Japan-only Sim City 64.

yuwarite

#78

yuwarite said:

I don't really care. To me, it's not a game; it's a virtual Lego sim that you clumbsily play in first person. The actual game'y parts aren't fun and lack that polish I'm looking for in a game.

Kaze_Memaryu

#79

Kaze_Memaryu said:

Minecraft would help in deciding in favor of the WiiU, but it's never been a system seller.
But if Nintendo really were to do this, they should give Mojang some ideas for Nintendo-specific stuff. Some ideas:

  • custom Nintendo-themd blocks (?-blocks, SMB/Zelda/Metroid tilesets)
  • iconic enemies with fitting behaviour (Goombas, Koopas, Moblins, Octoroks)
  • Nintendo-themed tracks (Zelda Dungeon theme or metroid Ridley's Lair theme for the Nether, for example)
  • Nintendo sound effects
  • Steve skins (Mario, Luigi, Link, Samus, Olimar)

Just porting Minecraft without sny noticeable changes in content is probably a terrible idea.

rjejr

#80

rjejr said:

@VincentV - "though the 3DS does run on an ARM processor like most phones do."

OK, that's my mistake, I completely forgot about the $6.99 tablet version which Amazon advertises for it's FireTV. I'm sure that could run on 3DS. Don't know where my head was.

Kifa

#81

Kifa said:

I can't really imagine why Minecraft is so "perfectly fit" for Wii U, especially the dual screen part. Aside from permanently open inventory there is really no use for it. But yeah, Wii U version could certainly happen, no reason why it could not, seeing the console having twice as much RAM available to games as X360 which ran it pretty well.

As for 3DS - yeah, it has an ARM11 processor, supposedly dual core, but we have no idea about the clocks. More importantly - 3DS only has 96 mb of RAM available to games, and 6 mb of VRAM (graphics only). It's far less than even the most basic of Android smartphones theese days, so it would be hard to fit a fully fledged game in that. With Minecraft memory is more of an issue than processing power.

Still, a very cut-down and limited version could happen, possibly with some small-world mechanics twist?

AshFoxX

#82

AshFoxX said:

Minecraft is not my cup of tea, but even I can see that the game was BUILT for 3DS and Wii U.

LuckyTJ

#83

LuckyTJ said:

THIS NEEDS TO HAPPEN!! It's not fair that all the other platforms have this except Nintendo. Oh please make this happen😫

SleepyCrossing

#84

SleepyCrossing said:

This would be great. Especially because Minecraft dev(s) would have a whole new market in Japan, where minecraft is anything but mainstream.

Smart decision for both parties.

Bulbousaur

#85

Bulbousaur said:

If Minecraft does come up Wii U, hopefully it'll be the PS4/Xbone version and not the disappointing PS3/360 version with the tiny world size, but I'm not optimistic. As for a 3DS version, yeah I doubt that'll ever happen with the 3DS's power, and even if they a build specially for it, it'll be similar to the stripped-down Pocket version.

FilmerNgameR

#88

FilmerNgameR said:

I'm not a big fan of Minecrap but I'll probably try it out on Wii U if it happens. The controls just make so much sense on Wii U! With a Nintendo theme too!

Dpishere

#89

Dpishere said:

Not sure how I feel about Minecraft though if it did come to Wii U I would at least consider trying it out.

AcesHigh73

#91

AcesHigh73 said:

"...Nintendo's hardware is the only option that supports both touch and analogue control..."

Ermmmm, Playstation Vita has both too. In fact, Minecraft is actually due to debut on Sony's handheld — alongside the PS4 version — this August! Regardless, I'd love for Mojang's ridiculously successful sandbox to come to Wii U at some point. I'd certainly buy it. And heck, it might just be the carrot that tempts potential Wii U buyers off the fence?!

Vincent294

#93

Vincent294 said:

@rjejr May or may not. It would be a difficult task if it can, but just saying it isn't completely out of question. The older versions of Pocket Edition anyways. Definitely not Pocket Edition .9 though. No way that could run on 3DS.

Vincent294

#94

Vincent294 said:

@Kifa Exactly, though Wii U actually has 4 times the RAM of the Xbox 360 for games. 3DS has a bit less than half the RAM of the PS3 available to games, so I could imagine it running with 256 X 256 worlds. It also supposedly has a co-processor as well as the dual core CPU, not that that counts for much. No matter what though, one thing is certain and that's that only high-end tablets & the Vita can power a fully-fledged Minecraft experience on the go. I have hopes that a port can be done, and if it was decent and cheap I'd buy it.

Kifa

#95

Kifa said:

@VincentV You're wrong. Wii U has 2GB of RAM built in, but reportedly half of it is reserved for background tasks, which leaves us with 1GB for games (and 36MB of eDRAM for special purposes). That's why I said "twice". :)

As for PS3 - remember that it has 256MB of main RAM (about 190 available) and 256MB of graphics memory. 3DS only has one unified pool of 128MB, 32 of which are reserved, and also 6MB of graphics memory. That's far less than "just under the half".

Anyway - my point was that with minimal tweaking Minecraft would run on Wii U, but 3DS would require special coding and indeed a special version of the game. Still possible though. ;]

Sceptic

#96

Sceptic said:

Oh man. Miyamoto hasn't even played minecraft. That alone would get him fired in my game company. Way to broaden your horizons... jeez. No wonder all we're seeing is remakes.

PlywoodStick

#97

PlywoodStick said:

What was the last game that was literally on every platform still on the market, home and portable, with the same gameplay fully intact? This may be one of the first, if this happens...

Pod

#99

Pod said:

Both visuals and mechanics are rough and unrefined. And it isn't really much of a game in the first place.

I certainly grew tired of it, but I can see why it does keep some up at night.

If Nintendo were to assist with a platform specific version, like they did with Sim City and Tetris and most recently Metal Gear Solid, they could end up having the ultimate version of Minecraft all to themselves.

Danny429

#100

Danny429 said:

@6ch6ris6 ever heard of the circlepad pro? That would make for great controls in the game. And everyone seems to be forgetting how awesome this game would look in 3d!

6ch6ris6

#104

6ch6ris6 said:

@Danny429 i will not attach a hardware on onto my console. we don't live in the 90's anymore. nintendo needs to add a second circlepad to their next handheld

DanteSolablood

#105

DanteSolablood said:

@kensredemption Who's making you pay to play online with friends? You CAN get one friend to pay about £7 a month for a server... or Minecraft also allows you to run a server from your PC. It's easy to do AND free.

As for people mentioning the Pocket Edition for 3DS, I'm an Alpha tester for Pocket Edition... it's about to catch up & overtake the 360 version, Infinite Worlds, full online with Realms and all mobs, caves & features are going to be introduced in 0.9.0.

TreesenHauser

#106

TreesenHauser said:

I agree with what @rjejr said--Yes to Wii U MInecraft, no to 3DS Minecraft. Wii U would be perfect for it, and I would definitely throw some good money down on a Wii U version of it. I played the PS3 version and thought it was awesome, but I can't help feeling like having a touch-screen for controls would make it even better. Throw in some Nintendo-exclusive skin and texture packs and it'll be even better than better!

As for 3DS Minecraft... yes, it has the touch-screen, but I can't see having marathon building and exploring sessions on a handheld. That's just me though.

Clara

#107

Clara said:

3DS minecraft, that would be awesome, they might have to make some more compromises compared to the 360/ps3 versions but as long as its better than the android version I would buy it.

eviLaTtenDant

#110

eviLaTtenDant said:

Anything that makes the Wii U more attractive to the general public should be a good idea. An exceptional use of the GamePad in a Wii U version of Minecraft might even be able to do that.

Windy

#112

Windy said:

I would buy it on 3ds if it had online co-op. No online co-op no buy. It just gets lonely in that world without friends. BTW has anyone seen the Minecraft re-creation of Disneyland? Its freaking awesome! A team of people worked on it and its perfect.

Henmii

#115

Henmii said:

"Shigeru Miyamoto teases, "maybe we're meeting with them!""

So basically Mariocraft confirmed!

SuperShark27

#116

SuperShark27 said:

I really hope this will happen for the 3ds. And if it does happen i want it to be the same or almost the same as the compiuter version, with servers and those stuff. I hope you will not need an account for this. Like the xbox 360 version.

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