Some people who bought the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft have found themselves unable to use one of its most important features. Unless they feel like buying new televisions.
The console version of Minecraft, which launched today on Xbox Live Arcade, offers a unique mechanic that isn't available on the computer: split-screen multiplayer. You can sit in a living room and dig up blocks while perched alongside your friends and family, building all of Game of Thrones or whatever else it is crazy kids do in Minecraft nowadays.
But you can only use the feature if you own a high-definition television, according to developer 4J Studios. That's a problem for many fans, who have taken to Minecraft's forums in outrage and confusion, saying they had no idea an HDTV was required for split-screen.
And indeed, the Xbox Live Marketplace seems to make no mention of the fact that a high-definition display is required for this feature:
For some gamers without high-def TV sets, like Kotaku reader Andrew King, buying the console version of Minecraft was nothing but a waste of $20.
"My main reason for buying it was the chance to do local splitscreen co-op with my friends," King told me in an e-mail. "Basically it would appear that you NEED to have an HDTV, or HDMI cable, or something like that, to be able to do split-screen co-op. I own none of these things, and cannot afford them."
King plans to ask for a refund as soon as he can.
"At no point had I been under the impression that I needed anything other than the console and some extra controllers to do split-screen co-op," he said.
We've reached out to Microsoft for comment or clarification and will update should they respond.
Update: Here's Microsoft's statement: "In order to deliver the best consumer experience, and to support the text needs of the inventory and crafting system, split-screen multiplayer in Minecraft does require an HD screen. Currently, in game prompts alert players of the HD requirements for split-screen multiplayer."
Which is helpful... once you've already bought the game.