Earlier this week, we reported that two video game ratings boards had new listings for a version of the hit sandbox game Minecraft for Microsoft's Xbox Series S and X consoles. However, it looks like Microsoft is trying to keep expectations down for an imminent launch of such a game.
Even though the Minecraft Xbox Series X|S game has been listed on the German USK and the US ESRB video game ratings boards, Eurogamer has since received a statement from a Microsoft spokesperson that basically says we shouldn't expect such a game to actually be released anytime soon:
Given the number of platforms and geographies in which Minecraft is available, we periodically go through rating reviews and updates with different regional boards. This recent rating is not indicative of any new versions or platform support for Minecraft in the near future.
In other words, current-gen Xbox console owners will still have to play the Xbox One edition via the console's backward compatibility features for the time being.
That's too bad, because a native Minecraft version for the Xbox Series X|S consoles would almost certainly sell very well. It might sell even better if the game would get some graphical improvements that would take advantage of the current gen console's hardware.
Over two years ago, in December 2020, Microsoft and Minecraft developer Mojang released a version of the game on Windows 10 that enabled ray tracing effects for NVIDIA's GPUs. It came with 10 maps that were made specifically to showcase those effects.
While the Xbox Series S and X consoles use customer AMD Radeon GPUs, it possible that Mojang could release a version of Minecraft for those consoles that could replicate those ray tracing effects. A version of the game made for those consoles could also have some other features, like better textures and support for larger sandbox worlds.