Next Minecraft update brings animal breeding to the Xbox Live Arcade

Minecraft -- The End

When it was first revealed that Mojang’s hyper-successful Minecraft would appear on the Xbox Live Arcade, fans were understandably worried. One of the biggest positives of the PC iteration of the game is how often it’s updated, and Microsoft’s strenuous regulations for what does and does not appear on the Xbox Live Marketplace seemingly made it impossible for the then-hypothetical XBLA game to keep pace with the content found in its PC counterpart. Both Microsoft and 4J Studios (the developer of the XBLA Minecraft) assured fans that special provisions would be put in place to allow the console Minecraft to be updated more frequently than other games on Microsoft’s service, yet fans remained unconvinced.

While the console version of Minecraft will likely never have exactly the same wealth of content as its PC predecessor, developer 4J Studios is still hard at work on adding new, interesting elements to its game. To that end, the firm has released a short list of additions that Minecraft will see in Update 7. Have a look:

The key additions are:

> Animal Breeding

> Potion Brewing

> Experience Points

> Enchantment Table

> Mushroom Biome

> Nether Fortress

> New Tutorial World

> Villagers

> Mooshrooms

> Blaze

> Snow Golems

> Magma Cubes

> Baby Animals

Though lacking in-depth details, that is an undeniably intriguing list. Potion brewing? Animal breeding? Bizarre new environments that seemingly revolve around a worrying abundance of oversized fungus? If nothing else, this should add a ton of variety to the world, whether you’re one of those people who focuses on building elaborate structures, or the type who would rather choose an arbitrary direction, start walking, and continue on until some new, horrific creature manages to devour your corpse.

Unfortunately, 4J offers no specific release date (or even a vague release window) for Update 7, so we may have to keep our anticipation in check for a bit. However, while the company left out that crucial bit of info, it does offer word that the imminent Update 8 — which, as you’d expect, also lacks release date specifics — will bring with it “The End,” the above-pictured area in which players are tasked with battling a gigantic Ender Dragon. For lack of a better alternative, you can think of this as Minecraft’s “final boss” — at least until Mojang opts to create an even bigger, badder foe for your blocky avatar to throw itself in front of.

Anyway, back to Update 7. As with all previous updates for the XBLA Minecraft, this additional content comes free of charge. Once the Update has been released, you’ll need only fire up the game for the patch to be downloaded and installed. Once 4J Studios opts to reveal a release date for the Update, we’ll bring you word on that, though if you really can’t wait, you can find all of this content in the current PC version of Minecraft. As 4J notes on Twitter, Update 7 mimics Minecraft’s 1.01 update, only without The End and a few other miscellaneous bits (ocelots and Iron Golems, for instance).