A castle in Minecraft

Minecraft fans on PS4 can now play with friends on Xbox, Windows, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android and Gear VR

Minecraft fans who play on PlayStation 4 can now team up with friends on platforms including Xbox One, Microsoft has announced.

A new update will let gamers play the popular block-building title together in shared worlds regardless of whether they are using PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows 10, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android or Gear VR.

PS4 gamers will also be able to access the Minecraft Marketplace, an official, online shop that sells new worlds, skins, mini-games and mash-up packs. Any purchases can be carried across platforms, so buying the Legacy Skin Pack on an Xbox will let gamers use it on a PS4, for example.

The new update applies to the unified Bedrock version of Minecraft and will install automatically and free of charge for PS4 players the next time they start the game. The free update will also never expire and all game purchases after today for PS4 will always be for this new version.

“One of Minecraft’s core missions is to connect players across devices and provide the best experience regardless of platform,” says Helen Chiang, Studio Head of Minecraft. “We continue to fulfil that mission here today by welcoming PS4 players to Minecraft on Bedrock and growing our cross-platform multiplayer community.”

The news comes just days after Minecraft announced Realms Plus, a new monthly subscription service that lets gamers and up to 10 friends play online together in their own private server.

It will be available for all versions that have Minecraft Marketplace, and current Minecraft Realms users will be upgraded for free and receive more than 50 pieces of Marketplace content at launch, including adventures, skin packs, worlds, mini-games and more.

New users can try their first month of Realms Plus for free, after which it will cost $7.99 a month.

Finally, a new holiday update will be released on December 11 that will feature bees. The flying insects will spawn naturally in Flower Forests, Plains and Sunflower Plains biomes. They’re neutral mobs, so won’t attack players. However, they will defend themselves if attacked, stinging a player until the bee dies. Bees love flowers and will gather pollen from them, so can help players grow crops.