Minecraft 360 to Hit Shelves This Winter

Minecraft 360

If you haven’t heard of the PC indie hit Minecraft, you soon will. It’s a sandbox game where you can go around fighting skeletons, destroying and collecting blocks, and building with them. Initially a one man programming effort  grew into a seven person team. It was announced at E3 that we can expect Xbox Minecraft very shortly.

The Electronic Entertainment Exposition, or E3 is basically a holiday for gamers. It’s the one time a year all the big players display their plans for the upcoming year. Minecraft Xbox (name unconfirmed) will be an xbox exclusive, due December of this year. Even more surprisingly, there will be full Kinect support. Kinect Is Microsoft’s full body motion control device that lets you use your body as the controller.

Marcus Persson AKA Notch (the game’s developer) said in his official blog: “it will be a new verion of the game designed specifically for console play.” Hearing that there will be Kinect features certainly surprised me. I can’t help but imagine the game being very gimmicky and non-immersive, how I imagine Fable The Journey to be. A sort of freebuild game with no adventure elements, perhaps a bit like if Viva Piniata had Kinect support.

Notch tweeted that 4J Studios was working on programming the Xbox version. These are the people who did full ports of Oblivion to the PS3 and Perfect Dark to Xbox Live, so I’d put my money on Minecraft 360 being a port rather than a spinoff. I wonder if it will be mostly controller based with a few of Mass Effect 3’s voice implementation of Kinect features. Or maybe it will be a lot more plot driven for mass appeal, as right now the PC game has no plot whatsoever.

What makes me laugh is the thought of Kinect support including actual shoveling and mining. I can picture the gamers wiping sweat from their forheads as they mine a tunnel through a mountain looking for coal. If that was the case it would be better than a Kinect workout game.

The biggest draw for me currently in Minecraft is multiplayer. How would it work on a console game? Right now players have to join an in-browser game via Minecraft’s official website, or find a website that lists minecraft servers like MinecraftServerInfo.com. Other online PC games that could potentially have been blockbuster Xbox releases like Champions Online haven’t because of Microsoft’s silly internet policies. Depending on what sort of spinoff Minecraft Xbox is multiplayer might be a nonissue.

At this point Notch isn’t giving away any information for fear of messing up the PR plan Microsoft Developed, so we’ll just have to wait and see.