Minecraft Xbox's Update 12 Brings Texture Pack Support

Minecraft Xbox's Update 12 Brings Texture Pack Support

The twelfth Title Update for the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft has some significant additions.

Although Minecraft was born -- and indeed flourished -- on home computers, it's also performed extraordinarily well in its console incarnation.

Although the Xbox 360 version is somewhat smaller in scope than the original version of the game -- largely due to technological limitations, particularly in multiplayer -- it's still a fun experience, and adds its own twists to the basic formula. Couch co-op, for example, is a lot of fun, and allows you to have the sometimes-collaborative, sometimes-competitive experience of Minecraft multiplayer without having to find or set up your own server.

One particular attraction of the home computer versions of Minecraft that the console version simply can't match is modding support. Using mods, you can effectively make Minecraft a completely different game in many ways -- you can add complexity in the form of new objects, structures and game mechanics, or you can simply change the aesthetic from the retro-style pixel art to something a bit more fancy. A friend of mine recently discovered PC gaming -- and, by extension, modding -- and has been systematically and gradually turning his copy of Minecraft into something all but unrecognizable from its original form. Me, I'm a bit more of a traditionalist, and prefer the vanilla flavor, but it's pretty neat that the option is there -- on home computers, at least.

The latest version of Minecraft for Xbox 360, while not adding true "mod support" as such, does at least provide one interesting new customization feature: support for texture packs. Exactly what form these texture packs will take -- and what they'll cost, because you can count on them not being free -- is yet to be seen, but they provide the potential for players to take a lot more control of their experience than is currently provided.

There are hundreds of free texture packs available for Minecraft's home computer incarnation, many of which change the look significantly. Here's a few examples, drawn from MinecraftTexturePacks.com, just one of many sites devoted to reskinning Minecraft. Perhaps we'll see some of these packs (or at least something like them) available for Xbox owners in the near future?

First up, this one's called Life HD. Its 128x128 resolution textures are considerably more detailed than Minecraft's standard look, which only use a resolution of 16x16 pixels. Despite the enhanced detail, though, it's still recognizably Minecraft:

Life HD -- download here.

Unsurprisingly, someone has made a Lego-themed texture pack called -- guess what? -- LegoPak.

LegoPak -- download here.

ModernCraft, meanwhile, replaces some of Minecraft's more fantastical elements like redstone with more realistic counterparts, making for a more convincingly "modern" look.

ModernCraft -- download here.

And for those of you who think 16x16 is just too high resolution, here's Simple as That, a texture pack that downscales its textures to 8x8 for a super-pixelated look.

Simple As That -- download here.

Aside from texture pack support, the new title update also includes ocelots and cats, iron golems, baby villagers, redstone lamps, the jungle biome (and related blocks), a new tutorial world, rare drops from monsters and refined AI for monsters. It's a significant update, in other words, though it's still a little behind the home computer version as it stands.

Minecraft 360's Title Update 12 doesn't have a firm release date yet, but it's been submitted to Microsoft and consequently should be available soon.

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