Microsoft has announced that Minecraft is coming to Chromebooks and is available to try right away via an Early Access version. The game will include "cross-device play with friends, access to Minecraft Marketplace, and the ability to play on Realms," according to developer Mojang.
It will require a decently equipped Chromebook with specific processors, 4GB of RAM and 1GB of storage, as detailed here. Those requirements may frustrate some potential users, considering that Chromebooks are widely used in schools and that Minecraft is played by a lot of kids.
"Early access means that in this first stage, only selected Chromebook devices that meet the minimum requirements will get the option to buy Minecraft, so you’ll have to check the Google Play Store to see if Minecraft is available for you," according to the blog post. "This isn’t because we want to single out some of our players as special (we love you all equally!) – it’s so we can test the game’s performance before we make it available to more players."
The "early access" part also means that users will have to put up with some bugs, even though they'll be paying for it. "We still expect that there may be some bugs, and that’s where we’ll need your help," the company wrote. "If you come across any goat-eating frogs, milkable squids, or disco dancing Ender dragons, then please let us know!"
Until now, it's only been possible to play Minecraft on Chromebooks using the Education Edition or a java version. The Chromebook + Android bundle us $20 USD, the Android-only version is $7, and an upgrade from Android the Chromebook is $13. Existing Minecraft worlds won't transfer to the Chromebook version, and you'll need a Microsoft account to play.
There's no word on when the final version will arrive, or if the minimum requirements will change. In any case, if you don't see the Early Access version the Google Play store, it likely means your Chromebook isn't compatible.