Minecraft is all about exploration, crafting, and more recently, customization. Some players that moved to the Xbox 360 version of the game did not like that many of the customizable features from the PC original (like changeable avatars and content mods) are absent from the console edition. The console version of Minecraft will likely never have as many features as the PC game, but the 1.7.3 update scheduled for July 13 may alleviate some player frustration.
Players can now change their avatar’s appearance by buying downloadable skin packs from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Microsoft has already revealed a few of the new character skins, including Creepers, ‘Splosion Man, and Carmine Clayton from Gears of War. You can also choose which of the original “Steve” (Minecraft’s hero) skins you use when you start, rather than just the traditional blue and green model.
Unfortunately, the update does not incorporate the leveling up and enchantment mechanics from the Minecraft adventure content.
The rest of the update adds new creation items like pistons and sticky pistons that help players build more complex mines and structures, and a sheep sheer so you don’t have to nearly kill animals to get the wool you need. Cobblestone and brick also have new textures now.
Other updates include:
- A ban list for users and for levels. If a player finds a multiplayer Minecraft world boring or offensive, they can remove it from the list of available multiplayer places.
- Redstone wires now connect to repeaters.
- Hosts can now limit online games to people in their friends list.
- You can only detonate TNT with redstone and a flint and steel.
- Several fixes for game-crashing glitches, warnings, and interactive items.
A few “mystery” updates have also been added, but Microsoft is not mentioning these so that players can discover them. Perhaps the developers added new hostile non-player characters from the PC version, like the seemingly unstoppable Endermen?