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It was only a matter of time before Microsoft began edging Mojang away from supporting the old seventh gen systems when it comes to new content and updates for Minecraft. Well, that day has finally arrived, or it will soon, as the next big update for the game will be the last for the legacy consoles.
Over on the official Minecraft website, Mojang announced that the Aquatic update will be arriving for all major game consoles and platforms, including the legacy consoles from the seventh generation of gaming. This means that after the Aquatic update goes live, there will be no new updates for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, or the Wii U versions of the game.
The reason for the abandonment of the older consoles is because Mojang wants to focus on the newer consoles and the newer iteration of the Bedrock Engine, which is no longer supported on the legacy consoles.
Now there is something to keep in mind if you're playing on the Xbox One or the Nintendo Switch, you will eventually need to upgrade to the newer version of the game running on the Bedrock Engine. The older, legacy versions of the game available for Microsoft and Nintendo's eighth gen consoles will eventually stop receiving updates. So you'll want to update the game as soon as possible.
The Bedrock Engine originally made its debut back in 2011, but it didn't actually manage to release for home consoles until 2017, where the Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch received the Bedrock updates during the third quarter of the year.
The newer version of Minecraft offers gamers the ability to export worlds, import worlds, and create their own play space just like the older version of the game, but it has the added ability to utilize advanced shaders, improved touch controls, and the ability to make use of virtual reality functionality, which was introduced as part of Microsoft's initiative to dive into the AR/VR field after teasing HoloLens support for Minecraft during E3.
Sadly, for those of you still wanting to utilize HoloLens for Minecraft, the tech is still heavy in development and the devkits are still the only physical release available for the mixed reality headset. On the upside, the Microsoft Mixed Reality headsets are available to offer you a cheap VR alternative to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, along with the Gear VR from Samsung, enabling you to dive into Minecraft with VR support.
All of that is to say that Mojang, Microsoft and the other port houses working on Minecraft are moving away from the older legacy consoles due to the newer engine not being able to support those old devices. In order to keep advancing and moving the brand forward, it will require leaving some of the older and less compatible platforms behind.
Even still, if you own a PS3, Xbox 360, or Wii U, take solace knowing that you can still enjoy the Aquatic update.