Minecraft 1.3 update due out August 1

Tom Hatfield at

Minecraft is expanding again. Mojang have announced that the game's new 1.3 update will arrive on August the 1st and will bring with it "A huge number of changes". It's been a bit of a wait since the last Minecraft update, but Mojang say that's because they've been making some significant structural changes to Minecraft's engine, they've "kicked out single-player, and made it a shell on top of multi-player," which brings us one step closer to mod support, and will ensure that any tweaks to multiplayer will work in single-player as well.

According to the Mojang website 1.3 will include "lots and lots of bug fixes" and performance enhancements. Those will be needed however, as the new singleplayer/multiplayer combined build will be more performance intensive. According to Mojang "When playing single-player, the game needs to be able to both simulate and emulate the world, which take many more CPU cycles."

Minecraft update snapshot includes trading, currency, new item and sandstone stairs

Tom Senior at

The Mojang site has been updated with a new downloadable snapshot of the next big Minecraft update. The build includes a few features that lead developer Jeb teased on twitter recently, including trading villagers and new currency items. The update list also mentions a "new useful block/item," sandstone stairs and a bunch of smaller fixes.

The folks on the Minecraft wiki have identified the new block as an Ender Chest that can be crafted using an Ender Eye and eight Obsidian blocks. It'll store your stuff, like any chest, but anything stashed in an Ender chest can be accessed through another Ender wherever it is, like those inexplicable magic boxes in Resident Evil.

Minecraft update 1.2.5 adds more impatient cats, wilder Ocelots

Tom Senior at

Jeb has posted on the Mojang blog with a list of tweaks made by the pre-release version of the latest patch for Minecraft. A few of the tweaks are directed at making Minecraft's cats less damn lazy. Ocelots that would formerly behave like tamed cats will behave like the roguish wild things that they are and domestic cats will now be "less eager to sit on things" and "less patient." They're basically OUT OF CONTROL.

Other entries include smaller fixes for chat errors and a "potential issue with village door detection" that could result in a plague of villagers pottering around like idle Creeper bait. The devs have done a bit of ghostbusting, too. "Removed all ghost entities under the command of Lord Herobrine." PHEW. Read on for the full changelist.

Minecraft 1.2 is out, build twice as high, tame ocelots, explore jungles and craft Iron Golems

Tom Senior at

The very first thing I did in Minecraft, once I'd had a quick look around, was to build a tower as tall a possible so I could survey my surroundings and then jump off. I suspect I'm not alone. Patch 1.2 will let us build structures twice as tall before hitting the invisible ceiling of the world, which is good news for Minecraft mega builders.

For adventurers, the latest patch has plenty to get stuck into. The new jungle biome is home to wild ocelots who can be tamed and turned into cats, and tamed wolves can no have puppies, making Minecraft about 12% more adorable. If you want more NPC pets, Iron Golems can be crafted to protect villagers. They're pretty fierce when angered, but have a softer side. According to the Minecraft wiki, "Iron Golems are able to hold roses and give them to Villagers, symbolizing the friendly relationship between the Villagers and Iron Golems." Bless their cold, metal hearts.

The patch has improved enemy AI and has added some brand new blocks as well. Read on for the latest list of changes from the Mojang site.

Minecraft jungle biome teased, "green jungle is green"

Tom Senior at

Jungles are coming to Minecraft. Lead designer, Jeb has thrown up a teaser shot on Twitter with the words "green jungle is green." And green it is indeed, with some lovely tall canopies and vine-choked bark. "Jon (@jonkagstrom) wants to add jungle animals later, but they will not be included in today's snapshot," Jeb adds, filling us with hope for Minecraft monkeys.

You'll find the full quick below. As our Tom Francis said when he first saw the picture, "that'll burn soooo quick."

Minecraft 1.9 pre-release version 3 released, adds babies

Tom Senior at

Minecraft developer Jeb has posted a link to the version 3 pre-release build of the Minecraft 1.9 Adventure Update on Twitter. You can grab the 2MB file here. We haven't had chance to test it out yet, but Jeb mentions that the new version adds a "simplified potion system" as well as "some new items and enchantment table (wip)." Oh, and babies.

Notch posted a picture of Minecraft's animal babies on Twitter recently saying that they "don't drop loot or xp, have a faster animation, and higher pitched sounds. Also, they eventually grow up." See a pair of the critters in the screenshot above. Have you had a chance to try the new update yet? Let us know your thoughts.