Looks like we'll be getting content updates in stages, judged by the most major of the PC update releases. 4J Studios has confirmed
the next update will be PC beta 1.7.3 version.
Original Article: The ever-evolving, extremely popular Minecraft launched on the Xbox 360 a couple of days ago. Not only has the sandbox world-creator broken Xbox Live Arcade digital sales records as the fastest-selling game launched on the XBLA service and knocking out its first 24-hour sales, but it has also reached an entire audience of gamers who would have never considered the game a possibility, but now do thanks to the more accessible, easy to jump-in-and-play XBLA version.
While the initial launch offering is just as creatively engaging and ridiculously addictive as its PC origins, the Xbox 360 Edition could use a range of features in its upcoming updates to improve the overall quality and lasting appeal of the title. It is several versions behind the current one on PC, as Mojang began converting the code of the then-current 1.6.6 beta version to an XBLA format. Thus, features such as sprinting, enchantments, pistons and the major Adventure update are missing.
Microsoft, Mojang and 4J Studios have already confirmed in interviews that the game will receive constant (and free) updates, with the possibility of some add-ons unique to the XBLA version. However, there are no details as to when it will happen or what content from the up-to-date PC version will possibly make it to its XBLA cousin.
Make no mistake, however: the Xbox 360 Edition is still Minecraft at its core. To perhaps sway more gamers from unfairly dismissing the Xbox 360 Edition as an inferior, unsupported port, updates of the newest content from the PC version and some of the implied unique add-ons for the 360 version would make the experience all the more enjoyable than it already has proven to be and encourage more players to join in on the fun. Take a look below at some of the suggestions.
1. Make Player Worlds more social and accessible
Each player is able to create and save their own custom worlds, and with split-screen offerings and up to four other players over Xbox Live able to join a host in their world, there has been plenty of creative (and maybe not so creative) multiplayer fun (havoc). However, players are currently limited to only joining someone else’s world if they’re on their friends list, a recent players list, or are invited.
The multiplayer aspect of Minecraft has no doubt been a reason for many new and existing players being drawn to the console version and there has already been some awesome co-operative creations and adventurous fun shared between players. 4J should implement features which can allow gamers to browse a list of current online public worlds to join, as well as the appropriate lobby and player-management systems. This would especially help those who might not have people on their friends list who own the game, but who would want to join in on the multiplayer action or organise their own. This would give Minecraft 360 players everywhere a broader range of multiplayer options and help construct and maintain the strong online community already formed around the console version.
2. Stronger customisation options
The PC version has benefited greatly from user-created mods and much of the mods cater for those who want a little personalisation on their in-game avatar. As much as I love Steve and the eight or so variations of him when playing in split-screen or online, I would love to be able to change my blocky avatar’s look at least a little bit, or have more armour choices than what is currently already available. User-created mods are probably never going to make their way to XBLA version, but 4J themselves could at least include some more customisation options in the next few updates; if not full player customisation, at least additional predetermined looks for our miners, or more unique skins for blocks, tools and weapons.
4J Studios is reportedly already working on certain custom skins and textures, so only time will tell the extent of customisation that we’ll be given. Whatever it is, any customisation would be a welcome addition to the sandbox-world-creating game.
This one is going to be on every single list of wants for the next few updates of this game. The sprint feature was added into the PC version a couple of updates after, and the Xbox 360 Edition would greatly benefit from this simple feature.
The creation of worlds and the time it takes to forage, travel and maintain them is great. Getting the appropriate supplies to build and progress is extremely time-consuming, and while the journey is part of the fun, it would be better for players to spend more time foraging and creating then making constant agonisingly-slow treks across the map just to get from place to place. Plus those annoying Creepers move fast.
4. Creative Mode
There is no reason 4J Studios can’t bring the ultra-fun Creative Mode, or at least some modified variation of it to the console version. The PC version has seen some amazing creations made in this mode; in one instance a user recreated an impressive representation of New York City. These sort of large-scale creations can only be achieved with a level of unrestricted player freedom and power.
The fact is that some players just want to build without the worries of dealing with gathering limited resources, avoiding Creepers, and managing health and survival. Infinite blocks and resources, invincibility and flying are awesome features in the PC's Creative Mode that should make it to the console version to assist in a focus for those who just want the creation aspect of the game. The inclusion of Creative Mode or any sort of God Mode would facilitate this, and is a no-brainer to implement for the console edition.
5. New content for the Xbox 360 version
4J need to follow up on the possibility of unique content for the console version. Whether it's new gameplay modes, daily or weekly challenges, skins, new weapons and tools, or expanding multiplayer numbers further (if possible), it would be only logical (and awesome) to see 4J, Mojang and Microsoft take advantage of the success of the more accessible console version.
There are several popular suggestions for update ideas already floating around the Internet in organised efforts, such as expanding upon the Xbox 360’s 1024×1024 grid, but for most people, the world space already on offer is more than enough to keep busy, so this isn’t really a critically needed for the next update. Fresh new content and additional updates need to lead the way first so we can really see the Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition grow and evolve and keep engaging players with new mechanics and content just like all the original adopters of the PC version have experienced for the last three years.
What features, improvements and/or fixes do you think Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition needs? Tell us below.
By Nathan Misa- Bio