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Minecraft: Java Edition (originally referred to as PC Edition and unofficially known as Windows Minecraft) is the original platform of Minecraft, developed by Mojang AB and available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Notch began development on May 10, 2009, and the game was publicly released on May 17, 2009. It was fully released at MineCon 2011 on November 18, 2011.
Unlike other editions, the Java Edition of the game is sold by Mojang directly, so Mojang can roll out Java Edition updates with no delay and add features that they are not allowed to add to the other editions. Because of this, Java Edition was the version that got the latest updates first. However, this changed as soon as Bedrock Edition was released. Now, it has features that are only available on Java Edition snapshots, but are on Bedrock Edition's stable releases.
The edition has its own launcher. Logging in with a Mojang account is required to play the game. Along with the latest versions and latest snapshots, most past versions of Java Edition are available through the launcher. It allows for separate profiles which are useful for mods, development versions, and old versions.
Only the Java Edition has official software for players to host their own servers. Java Edition's code is more easily modified than the other editions, and so it has by far the most robust scenes for mods and custom servers. Realms for Java Edition is a separate service from Realms for Bedrock Edition.
Unlike Bedrock Edition, which is not available for computers without Windows 10, Java Edition supports a variety of operating systems including MacOS, Linux and Windows.
- Main article: Java Edition Version History
Markus Persson created Minecraft after playing Infiniminer with other members of the TIGSource forums in 2009. Other influences include Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper, and Persson's own RubyDung project.
When he first started work on Minecraft, he hadn't come up with a name for it as he had planned for it to be a small project. He simply referred to it as a "cave game" in the first Minecraft video he uploaded on May 13, 2009. The game was given the name "Minecraft: Order of the Stone" – a reference to the web comic Order of the Stick – the next day. Shortly after that, it was shortened to "Minecraft" to prevent confusion with the web comic. The game was released as an "early private singleplayer alpha" on May 16, 2009.
- Main article: Classic
Version 0.0.11a was publicly released the day after the private release on May 17, 2009, and the game received mention on IndieGames.com the day after. This phase was later dubbed Classic. In July, Minecraft was rewritten to use the Lightweight Java Gaming Library (LWJGL). Until it was reintroduced in Beta, the Creative game mode was exclusive to Classic, and it allowed the player to build and destroy blocks. Players are given an infinite amount of each block to build. A multiplayer test also occurred shortly before the Survival Test.
- Main article: Survival Test
Survival Test was released as a version of Classic on September 1, 2009 and it introduced Survival Mode. In this mode, the player now had to mine blocks, face mobs, and had a health bar. If the player died, the map was lost, and unless it was backed up the user would have to start over with a new map – this was a precursor to Hardcore Mode.
- Main article: Indev
Indev (In Development) was released on December 23, 2009 after Notch received requests to let the community try out new features he was implementing in Survival Test. Version 0.31 was released to the public minecraft.net/indev and available only to people who had purchased the game. When a new game was started, the player would spawn in a prefabricated wooden house.
Updates introduced a more complex and realistic lighting scheme than Classic. During Indev's lifespan, some updates were devoted mostly to testing new thing such as torches or Fire. Unique to Indev were level types, similar to biomes and the dimensions. If the player were to die, all progress was lost – much like Survival Test.
- Main article: Infdev
Infdev (Infinite Development) was released on February 27, 2010 and became the third phase of the game's development. It introduced infinite maps, new crafting recipes, 3D clouds, a new terrain generator, a more realistic fluid system, and more complex caves. While Infdev removed features such as world themes, it introduced extra gameplay features and items such as Minecarts and the ability to respawn.
- Main article: Alpha
Alpha was released on June 30, 2010, and this phase saw many major features added to Minecraft. Multiplayer for Survival was created, and features such as Redstone Circuits, Boats, new music, new mobs, and a Difficulty setting were added – often without announcement in "Seecret Friday Updates"
- Main article: Beta
Beta was released on December 20, 2010 and would be the last phase of Minecrafts development. Features that were added include a new logo and launcher, Achievements and statistics, Weather, smooth lighting, dyes, more plant types (two new tree types and tall grass), wolves and Squid, Beds, and other blocks and items.
The Adventure Update was a major set of updates first released on September 14, 2011, focusing on exploring, combat, and added an ending to the game. New features include a new terrain generator, new mobs, blocks, biomes, and items. New generated structures (Villages, Strongholds, Abandoned Mineshafts) were also introduced, as were changes to general gameplay such as an improved combat system with critical hits and experience, Hardcore Mode, and a way to finish the game by travelling to The End and defeating the Ender Dragon.
The official release of Minecraft, version 1.0 was released during MineCon on November 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm GMT. This is the version of Minecraft charged at full price (US$26.95, €19.95, £16.95) to new players; however, Alpha and Beta players receive this copy through regular updating.
When 1.12.2 was released, the game received the Java Edition subtitle to separate it from Bedrock Edition.
On October 6, 2018, Mojang open-sourced parts of the code for Java Edition, mainly the Brigadier command engine and the Data Fixer Upper. A complete rewrite of the game's rendering engine aimed for a Java Edition 1.14 release called "Blaze3D" is being considered for open-sourcing.
The Demo Version of Java Edition is for players who haven't bought Minecraft yet. However, the following restrictions are put in place:
- The Demo version is always set to Survival.
- Only one world is created (Demo_World) with the same seed (
- The player will have limited time to play the world (when the timer goes to 0, the player can still play, but they can't interact with the world).
- The player's name will always be set to
- The player will get a bonus chest when they start a new Demo World.
Java Edition is designed to be used with a keyboard and mouse or touchpad.
- Minimum requirements
- CPU: Intel Core i3-3210 3.2 GHz or AMD A8-7600 APU 3.1 GHz or equivalent
- RAM: 2GB
- GPU (Integrated): Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Ivy Bridge) or AMD Radeon R5 series (Kaveri line) with OpenGL 4.4
- GPU (Discrete): Nvidia GeForce 400 Series or AMD Radeon HD 7000 series with OpenGL 4.4
- Storage: ~1GB for game core, maps, and other files
- Windows: Windows 7.1 and up
- macOS: OS X 10.9 Mavericks
- Linux: Any modern distributions from 2014 onwards