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I bought my son two Minecraft editions for the Playstation 4. One was "Bedrock edition" and the other just was "Starter pack". This was from the descriptions on the seller's websites, even though the box arts do not state which version is which, so now I do not know which is which.

There seems to be no real difference between the box art of the two editions, except that one of the box art of one states that it is VR compatible. Otherwise both contain the words "starter pack" and both have similar descriptions on the back, but nowhere do I see the word "Bedrock" or "Java" on either edition's box art.

How do I know which is which? I would ideally wish to return one of them to the supplier. My son is 8, and he is not into modding yet, but he loves playing with modded versions. He does not play competitively - just build sprawling mansions and fortresses and such.

A secondary question - given what you've read above, which should I return to supplier?

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    As for which to buy: The two versions are NOT interoperable, so get whichever version your son's friends play. If he doesn't play with friends, then I recommend the Java version because skins, texture packs and so on are free, but in Bedrock you have to pay. Also, the Minecraft Wiki is written for Java with most exceptions noted for Bedrock.. Further, most Minecraft content on YouTube is based on the Java version, so if your son wants to do what they're doing, a lot of it won't work in Bedrock.
    – gotube
    Nov 4 '21 at 0:00
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I bought my son two Minecraft editions for the Playstation 4. One was "Bedrock edition" and the other just was "Starter pack".

All versions of Minecraft for the PlayStation 4 become Bedrock once they are updated via PlayStation Network. No matter if they just say "Minecraft" or "Minecraft PlayStation 4 Edition".

The "PlayStation 4 Edition" (now called Legacy Console Edition) is an old version that is no longer supported.

but nowhere do I see the word "Bedrock" or "Java" on either edition's box art.

"Minecraft Java Edition" is not available for PS4. Only Bedrock Edition is available for PS4.

My son is 8, and he is not into modding yet, but he loves playing with modded versions.

The only option to get mods in Bedrock Edition for PS4 is to purchase content on the Minecraft Marketplace.

except that one of the box art of one states that it is VR compatible

Compatibility with PlayStation VR was added on September 22, 2020 on Update 1.16.42. All copies manufactured before September 22, 2020 do not advertise PSVR compatibility as it was not available at the time, but all of those after the 22 do. They all support PSVR once the game is updated.

So you can compare pictures, this are the following physical editions that exist:

  • All copies manufactured before December 10, 2019 for PS4 are called "Minecraft PlayStation 4 Edition" on the box and disk. The cover shows Steve in full diamond gear approaching two zombies and a skeleton. It becomes Bedrock Edition once updated and it looks like this:

enter image description here

  • All copies manufactured after December 10, 2019 but before September 22, 2020 for PS4 are just called "Minecraft" on the box and disk. The cover shows Alex and Steve using a pickaxe and sword with a Wolf, Sheep and Pig around while a Zombie and a Skeleton come out from a cave below. They do not mention PSVR compatibility but they can be updated to get this feature and is Bedrock Edition. The cover looks like this:

enter image description here

  • Copies manufactured after September 22, 2020 show the same as those that are just called "Minecraft". The only difference is that it says "PlayStation VR Compatible" over the game title. This is just a cosmetic thing as all PS4 versions support PSVR once updated. They look like this:

enter image description here

(if I missed a physical edition, feel free to edit it or mention it in the description)

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I'm guessing that one of the products you bought looked like this:

Minecraft Starter Collection - PS4

This is a Bedrock Edition game. You'll notice this one says it includes the starter pack. "Starter Pack Contents - Includes 700 Tokens, LittleBigPlanet Mash-Up, Greek Mythology Mash-Up, Skin Pack 1, City Texture Pack." The starter pack is just a couple texture packs and/or worlds plus 700 of the in-game marketplace currency.

From what I've just read on the internet, there are ways to mod the PS4 version of the game, but I don't know any surefire way to get them.

It is not possible to play Java Edition on a console, so whatever you bought it is Bedrock Edition if it says PS4 on it.

As for whether to keep the VR version, that depends on whether or not you will be investing in the equipment to play VR. Here is an article about the release of VR for the PlayStation if you want to learn more.

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    Note: if this image doesn't match anything could you find either the links you purchased the products from or images on the internet that look like what you purchased? That would make it quite easy to discern what you bought.
    – AdamRaichu
    Nov 2 '21 at 8:57
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    And I guess this is the other one, Minecraft VR was launched in late 2020 so retail copies after that date states "VR compatible", I believe
    – pinckerman
    Nov 2 '21 at 18:12
  • Couldn't you keep the vr version and just not use vr? That way if you ever got vr, it would be available, but the gameplay wont change either way.
    – Millard
    Nov 2 '21 at 23:47
  • I wouldn't know, I haven't researched this deeply.
    – AdamRaichu
    Nov 2 '21 at 23:55
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    @KobusMyburgh yes, since the VR update was a free patch every user received. I believe that one copy is just newer than the other
    – pinckerman
    Nov 3 '21 at 7:46
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They both should be Bedrock Edition. Java Edition only works on PC, Mac, and Linux while other devices (as well as PC when you download the game from the Microsoft Store that comes with Windows 10/11) use Bedrock Edition.

To answer your second question on which one to keep, I would probably keep the VR for if you are ever planning to play with VR.

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    PC has bedrock too (Windows 10 edition). Nov 2 '21 at 14:10
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Both versions you have are simply the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft. The "Starter pack" that is mentioned on one of the boxes is a voucher for digital currency in the Minecraft Marketplace, an online store to buy skins, pre-made worlds and mods (for Bedrock Edition only).

The reason one box doesn't mention Bedrock Edition is because it's newer. Since the Better Together Update, the Bedrock Edition moniker has been dropped. While Minecraft: Java Edition retained its suffix, any version that's just called Minecraft, or platform-specific versions like Mincraft: Windows 10 Edition, are really versions of Bedrock Edition.

While it's easy to speculate on why this decision was made, that's a story for a different question. What you need to know about this change is that your (or your sons) Minecraft worlds can be played and enjoyed with friends with versions of Minecraft on all platforms (Switch, Xbox, PlayStation, PC, smartphones). So if your son still enjoys Minecraft in a few years and finally saved enough money to buy a PlayStation 6, he will still be able to continue playing the same world he started on his PlayStation 4, and of course his Xbox friends will always be able to join him.

Another way you could know either versions are not Java Edition is that Java Edition has never been released for any platforms besides the PC. So if you every want to know which version of Minecraft you're playing, just ask these questions:

Is it a version for Minecraft to play on a PC (Windows, Mac or Linux)?
    No. You're playing Bedrock Edition.
    Yes. Does it say Java Edition on the cover or in the title?
        No. You're playing Bedrock Edition.
        Yes. You're playing Java Edition.

Note that the box being different doesn't make a difference for what you're getting. Updates to Minecraft have always been free, so either version of the game will give you the latest version of Minecraft, although you might need to run an update before being able to play it.

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