Minecraft versions have never been the prettiest thing out there. Originally, there was only 1 version: the PC version. Then, Mojang introduced Pocket Edition, which was for mobile devices, or more particularly, smartphones.
Then, Mojang introduced a Console Edition. Fast forward to 2017, and we have so many different versions of Minecraft that they are actually starting to get annoying.
At the time of writing, there are the Minecraft PC edition, Pocket edition, Console edition, Windows 10 edition, Apple TV edition, and Gear VR edition. That’s quite a few editions, and it’s actually starting to get contradictory. For example, Windows 10 edition and PC edition target the same device. Development is also getting stagnant as Mojang (aka Microsoft) has so many things to look after.
What we would like to see is a unified version of Minecraft. It’s very easy for Microsoft to do this since they are pushing UWP. They could have a unified version for Windows 10, Windows Phone, and Xbox. They could even integrate Xbox play anywhere, allowing for a seamless experience. While not ideal, Microsoft maybe won’t support older versions of Windows anymore, such as users that are already running the PC version will still be able to play, but for the latest versions of the game they’ll have to upgrade to Windows 10. That’s the easiest way for Microsoft to convince users to upgrade and take advantage of the newest technologies available.
As for smartphones, Microsoft could continue to run the Pocket edition as is, however re-name it to Minecraft. That really gives it a unified look. Gear VR edition, Microsoft could integrate that with the smartphone version.
That way, Microsoft will have fewer versions of Minecraft to maintain and update. As for the inconsistencies within the versions, such as the PC version having more features than the Windows 10 edition etc, Microsoft will have to merge the features within all the versions. Therefore, all versions of Minecraft will have the same features and will be able to play together. It will really be a unified experience.
The one issue Microsoft will face is user accounts. A lot of Minecraft players (myself included) are using their old Mojang accounts. When (in fact, IF,) Microsoft unifies Minecraft, users who haven’t already setup Xbox live will be greeted with a prompt, allowing them to set up their Xbox live gamertag with their existing Mojang account. One click and it’s created.
By bringing all versions on its Xbox live platform, Microsoft will allow all players to be able to play with each other, and have the same features irrespective of what device they are using.
Tl;dr version: Microsoft should unify all of their versions, merge them to bring the same features across all devices, rename all versions to Minecraft only, integrate Xbox live with all versions and finish the old Mojang accounts.
I have a feeling that Microsoft will do this at some point or later, we just don’t know when. When Lydia announced at Minecon last year, she said:
Our goal here at Mojang is to bring each Minecraft player in the world together. Allow them to play with each other and have seamless experiences. And the Pocket Edition Friendly update is just the beginning.
So Microsoft already have a goal to unify Minecraft. To enable everyone to share the same experiences. So it’s going to happen, we just don’t know when. For now, we can only speculate and hope Microsoft does the sensible thing.