'Minecraft' users will need an Xbox Live login to play online on the Nintendo Switch.

Minecraft

Minecraft

The sandbox video game will soon be receiving an update which unifies it across Xbox, PC, and Switch platforms, meaning players are able to play online with anyone, regardless of which console they use.

Unfortunately for Switch users, however, this means they will need an account with Xbox's online system Xbox Live before they can access the game's online features.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer confirmed the news on Wednesday (14.06.17) while speaking on the Giant Bomb E3 2017 live show.

He said: "It's an Xbox Live account; that's our gaming social network. We use Xbox Live as the way to make sure we know who our players are, controls around parental controls and other things that we put into our platform are there. And as you're buying things in 'Minecraft', you want to make sure you have them available on other platforms, so we have to know who you are. If you have a realm that you've created on the PC and you want to get to it on the Switch, we have to have an identity system and we just use Xbox Live."

But despite using the Xbox Live online system, it seems unlikely that Switch users will be able to earn the same online achievements that are available to Xbox users.

When asked if Switch users can earn achievements, Phil said: "I don't know yet. I'm guessing no. And this is a collaborative relationship between Nintendo and I; they don't have achievements on their platform. If they want us to, I would love to be able to do it ... The relationship with Nintendo is incredibly strong. We obviously did the Mario mash-up pack into Minecraft; that doesn't happen that often."

And although the update will bring together Microsoft and Nintendo consoles, Sony will be left behind as the cross-platform function won't be implemented on the PlayStation.