More People Play Minecraft On Consoles Than On PC

I don't know about you, but when I think Minecraft, I think PC. it launched on PC, it made its name on PC, all the amazing mods are on PC. But here's a crazy statistic: there are now more people playing Minecraft on console than people playing on PC. How is that possible?

Mojang data analyst Patrick Geuder revealed the statistic via Twitter this morning, in addition to the news that Minecraft has solid — combined across all platforms — a ridiculous 54 million copies.

But the fact is this: we all know Minecraft is this incredible cultural phenomenon. We all know it sells by the bucketload, but more sales on console? That has really, really surprised me.

I literally remember sitting in the crowd at E3 when Minecraft was announced for the Xbox 360. I remember thinking it was a terrible idea. I guess we can chalk that up to another thing I was completely wrong about.


    I'd imagine a good portion of it is parents buying it for their kids to get them off the parents computers.

      But what about when the parents want to watch their stories?

      My cousin used some browser based client to play, which wouldn't have been caught in Mojang's statistics. I wonder just how much of a factor piracy is here?

        Isn't the browser based client on the official Minecraft website?

        Buying on console to stop on PC would just even our their house. 1 sale PC, 1 sale console.
        I still can't see how it would work well on consoles though.

        Last edited 26/06/14 10:00 am

        My nephew used that and he didn't need to buy the game to get the full version and apparently the kids at school use it. It's also some form if spyware :P So I removed it from his pc and game him my login so he can play from the real site.

      This old gem.
      “It’s popular on consoles, it must be kids. Parents buying if for kids. That’s it!”
      Could I ask your reasoning for this assumption?

      I play Minecraft on my Xbox because when I get home from work I don’t want to sit on another office chair in front of another PC monitor.

      Sure, you can get more out of the game if you take the time to install the PC version, mod it and then mess around with it for hours on end taking advantage of the extra PC features….. but who has time for that? I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I haven’t since I was a teenager.

        Its not an assumption. I have several younger cousins who play on ps3/360 for several reasons. Controller is easier to use for a kid, local split screen, they are not messing around on parents mac, simplified crafting ect ect. As you said its simpler and easier to get a kid to play a game on a console then it is on a pc.

          That still makes it an assumption, but i'll take your point.

          I'd still seriously doubt that a significant portion of sales are parents buying it for their kids to get them off the PC. I think the appeal of Minecraft is pretty universal, but it's also not exactly angry-birds level simple, even on consoles. If a kid can work out the basic mechanics of the game then a kid can work out how to use a PC.

          I'm guessing that the vast majority of gamers who've downloaded the console version are just people who wouldn't go out of their way to play a title like that on PC. Minecraft at it's core is something that just about anyone can enjoy but there's millions and millions of people out there who just don't play game on their PCs and who wouldn't go out of their way to download what is essentially still a very popular piece of indie software.

          Lets face it, if you want the game on the PC you still need to know what you're looking for and have to activly look to find it. There's no assurance that it will work and no assurance that it will be quick or simple.

          I turn my Xbox 360 on and its right there on the front dash. 'Get Minecraft! Game of the year! Download the demo now'. Two button presses and i've got it MS certified, playetested, complication free guarenteed.

          That's why it's outselling the PC version. It's got nothing to do with children or people not understanding that there's more features on PC, it's shifting huge numbers because people like the idea of Minecraft but very few people download indie PC games.

            After reading the heated discussion, in the end your point is just another assumption as well.

            Minecraft is appealing to both younger generation and older ones. Older generation use it to let their creativity go wild and create magnificent stuff where younger generation just enjoy it as a whole with lesser creativity I guess. It is actually hard to tell if it is selling more for younger generation or the older one since no one look into getting the statistics for it but in my neutral point of view, I am expecting a slightly higher percentage of younger generation playing it on console probably 60%-40% ratio or 65%-35% ratio.

            If you went to game stores and ask what games should they buy for their kids on console, they do actually push minecraft as it is one of the kids friendly game in the market. Can't expect them to go like, here buy god of war and call of duty for your kids. It is rare to have a kids friendly game that is also mainstream and fun. Pokemon being one of them buy we all know there are more adult pokemon player than kid pokemon player.

            Lets face it, if you want the game on the PC you still need to know what you're looking for and have to activly look to find it. There's no assurance that it will work and no assurance that it will be quick or simple.

            I turn my Xbox 360 on and its right there on the front dash. 'Get Minecraft! Game of the year! Download the demo now'. Two button presses and i've got it MS certified, playetested, complication free guarenteed.

            Is it really that hard to game on PC? Put in CD->Install->Next->Next->Update game. Even better with digital download, Download->Install->Update

            I come back from work, sit in front of my pc, all the games are double click away. What is so frustrated about that? I guess it clearly shows that you are not a PC gamer. If you are saying about adjusting in game graphic settings and such, just click recommended and go? The recommended setting will be what you play on console anyway.

              I agree it’s not that hard on PC, it’s part of my argument that there’s no evidence at all that it’s children playing the game that are pushing the console numbers up. It’s completely baseless and the kind of thing that gets thrown around constantly- consoles are played by kids, PCs are for adults.

              It’s something that probably seems true when you’re 16 and have tons of time and the correct social networks to be a dedicated PC gamer, who remembers playing consoles as “a kid” and who now assumes (like I did) that consoles are for younger people.

              I can tell you that when I was in year 3 every freaking kid in my class was playing Doom on a 486 running DOS just like everyone else under 30. I’d imagine that in 2011 that same situation applied to kids playing Minecraft on their parents PCs.

              Minecraft is selling well on consoles because it’s a good game and more people own consoles than play games on their PCs. I’m not saying that kids don’t play it, I’m saying it’s stupid that people rush to attribute it to “kids” because it suits what they want to believe.

                You don't have you argue with us in the comment section, if you run through google searching for the age demographic, you can find the evidence yourself. I just did a quick search and I have statistic from 2012 showing that the age group 15-21 is the majority player age. Not sure how much has changed for the past 2 year but I imagine it will not change much. This is statistic for PC only.

            What's this rubbish that gets thrown around nowadays with the whole "PC games are so time consuming to get them working!". You need only do these things: have drivers installed (which should already be done if you use your computer AT ALL), and install the game, and potentially any updates (and these days, 99% of games will download the updates automatically for you. It may have held up back in the day when you had to go on filefront and look for the latest update but not anymore because Steam does it all for you). You're acting like it takes half an hour of messing around with settings these days, it really doesn't. You do those things and you start playing. You might spend 30 seconds messing around with the settings to get it right. And this is only if you're playing Crysis or something. Minecraft literally takes like a minute from downloading to getting to the main menu, it's the simplest game in the world.

            The only exception to this is if you have a shitty PC, in which case, a decent PC is a prerequisite to playing games on a PC. You should not be attempting to do this if you don't know what specs your old PC from 2009 has.

              You’re right, PCs are usually pretty easy to set up, but still never as easy or as practical as a console.

              When you’re talking millions and millions of sales then small factors like install time, or casuals not knowing their specs, or not knowing where to get the game, or not seeing the game advertised up front, or not having your drivers up to date, or having a proper knowledge of where the game is up too (early PC versions were BETA for a long time).… those things actually have a big impact on people jumping into the game.

              Particularly when the console version comes out as a full product and is on the launch page saying ‘download now’.

              Sure, it’s really easy if you’re someone who uses their PC as a games machine semi-regularly but that’s not really a huge chunk of the potential market for something as universal as Minecraft. In the end those reasons add up and are far more likely to be the reason that the console version is selling better than “it’s kids”.

              “It’s kids” is a dog-whistle, just like when it’s “COD kids” or “console kiddies” generally. Only an “kid” would by the inferior console version right?

                “It’s kids” is a dog-whistle, just like when it’s “COD kids” or “console kiddies” generally. Only an “kid” would by the inferior console version right?

                Would you stop it with this nonsense? You're hiding behind the idea that people are just saying that to imply all console users are immature brats. It's not, it's grounded completely in reality. Kids, that is, kids aged as low as 5, make up a HUGE portion of the Minecraft playerbase, especially on console. If you aren't aware of this you need to open your eyes. I have younger cousins that would never have even cared about video games at all because of Minecraft. Young kids literally want an Xbox just to play it. That's why it's doing so well on console, not because people in their twenties can't be arsed to figure out how to download and install it on their PC and would rather sit on their couch.

        I don't play Minecraft, but I play Console exclusively lately. I just can't be bothered with my PC after work and weekends. I don't have a definite answer to why it is. I just prefer my PS3 controller for gaming lately.

    The big advantage for me is that the console version of Minecraft has splitscreen support!

      I would also think being able to game on your couch would be nice as well.

        Nothing a HTPC and a dinner tray to hold the mouse and keyboard wouldn't fix.

    I prefer the PC over console version. But i have played for quite a bit on 360 (only to get the achievements really lol)

    My kids play 4 player splitscreen minecraft all the time on the PS3. They love it on the console.

    My eldest plays it on her Mac, but the rest prefer the controller.

    Just like most things, the core of Minecraft works just fine on consoles. If you want to build a full recreation of Westros or something like that then yeah, the PC is the way to go, but if you’re happy to just play survival mode, explore and build things then the console version is great.

    I’m really looking forward to upgrading to the Xbone version when it comes out.

      The only thing that held me back from buying the console version was the tiny map and lack of horses.

      After I build my victorian chateau, I want to hop on a donkey and explore for treasure chests.

    Are we sure it isnt 'more people have bought it" on consoles?
    I got it on my phone just to see what it was about, used it twice and never again.
    So if the statistic is Bought, that I can understand. But more PLAYING than on PC???

    Could part of this be due to the relative newness of the console versions? They aren't super new but I'm guessing the console versions are much closer to their launch spike than the PC.

    I feel like I'm missing something I don't get minecraft yet I know its crazy popular and have lots of people on my friends list that play it. I almost feel like I should like it.... but I dont

      It's a good game, it's well made, and it appeals equally people who want to make crazy designs, people who want to explore and play a survival game, and people who find a zenlike peacefulness in endlessly mining and farming resources. But that doesn't mean it's going to have a universal appeal, even if you recognise it's qualities.

      It's like how I respect anyone who can conquer Dark souls and appreciate it's subtle beauty and the fully realised (if rather bleak) world that the story takes place in, but I personally would rather pump hot glue into my urethra than spend another minute wrestling with the combat and wandering aimlessly through the same area again and again looking for the next bonfire.

        I personally would rather pump hot glue into my urethra

        Ye gods, the image....

    So combined console sales > PC. Like 99% of all multiplatform titles.

    The feat here is made impressive by the head start PC had though. Give me some money mojang!

    I think most people would prefer the simplicity. Parents may have bought it for their kids but are sick of having to help "make it work!" when they're just as clueless as the kids, likely more so.
    A console release would have been such a relief - they just point at the console rather than go to the hassle of backing everything up and taking chrome out of "incognito" mode.

    I often have minecraft night LANS on the 360... all of us are over 30. PC lans are just too much hassle for us.

    So much easier to craft stuff on the console version.

    I play this exclusively on my PS3 and only started recently - I play in split screen mode with my two kids and we have a great time. I didn't play the game for ages thinking it just looked awful, however now that I have, I definitely get the appeal. We've just built a portal and have headed into the Ether.....good times!

    It is because there are more autistic 12 year olds on consoles than PC.

    Kids/adults – personally I’ve seen all ages playing this game.

    Console dominance doesn’t really surprise me though. I know a lot of people of all ages who play Minecraft on console. While a lot of them are younger relatives, a few of them are older – including myself.

    Although I also own Minecraft on PC, I can see why it's possibly more popular on console. In terms of safety you can't just join any server. Instead you're reliant on some sort of friendship/community link.

    I’ve tried to get certain mates of mine to join the action on Minecraft, and sadly they just dismiss it as a childish experience and head back to the latest action blockbuster FPS (insert x title here).

    This isn't much different to their dismissal of all things Nintendo though.

    Only ones missing out on the chance to broaden their gaming experiences is themselves.

    Last edited 02/07/14 9:44 pm

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