On Monday, we spoke to Paddy Burns of 4J Studios about the forthcoming Minecraft: Xbox Edition update. It seems 1.8.2 is going to get us much closer to the current PC edition of the game, adding Creative Mode, new mobs and new foods, though stopping just short of enchantment and XP – this time.
But we wanted to know how things will shape up in the future. There are of course, major differences between the Xbox and PC hardware, so we can’t expect every facet of the original version to come across. So what next?
How about mods, for example? On PC, gamers have been able to modify the Mojang version of the game, adding new tools, textures and map features. Can we get anything like that on console? “This isn’t something that will be coming with 1.8.2, but will be further down the line,” says Burns. “The Xbox 360 won’t be able to have the mod system that gives such a variety of community additions to the game on PC, but we’re looking at the elements of these that people seem to be enjoying the most, and deciding how we could tailor those elements into something for Xbox. The audience for the game on the Xbox is different from the PC version, mainly due to the console being in the living room and using controllers rather than a mouse and keyboard, so we need to ensure that whatever we do is right for that audience”.
Apart from this, there are definite hints of a diverging path for the Xbox version. “We’re going to be discussing with Mojang where we go after version 1.2.3,” says Burns. “Some ideas of taking the game in a different direction from PC having been raised already”.
It’s all hugely intriguing, and for clues about where things are going it may well be worth looking at titles like Trials or LittleBigPlanet, which offer very structured opportunities for gamers to share and rate their own designs. Perhaps we can expect a more social Minecraft experience, something akin to EA’s Autolog or Battlelog systems, allowing players to seamlessly compare new creations.
As ever, we’ll be keeping a close eye on developments – or more accurately, we’ll be bugging 4J Studios with emails every few hours. It’s okay, they don’t mind.