Some of you may know that Minecraft is on the way to the Xbox Live Arcade. So enjoying the wonderful building block world on console is a guaranteed possibility. But as you all know, a game like Minecraft needs a ton of updates. I mean, what would we do without new tree renders or additional block animals or even simple fixes to the UI?
The thing is, “Microsoft” and “updates” have never really matched up too well. As an avid console gamer, I know my games don’t always get the updates they need right away because the game companies have to go through a lot of nonsense, such as testing and certification, to get the patches in. Unfortunately, the process takes a lot of time and unnecessary effort that could really be put towards the next patch. This has frustrated many developers over the years and consoles have fallen behind the frequency of updates that PC and mobile games have been getting for the longest time.
All this could change, for the better I hope. Claims from Paddy Burns, chief technology officer at 4J Studios, suggests that Microsoft intends to speed up the certification process:
"Microsoft knows that to do a similar thing that's on PC where they constantly update it, that's a very difficult thing to do on Xbox because you have to go through the full tests but they are quite keen to move towards that - they do see it as the future, so I think we might be the first to do constant updates."
Minecraft will launch on the Xbox 360 with the PC version’s Beta 1.6.6 which was released last May. Burns’ intention is to roll-out a constant stream of updates so that the 360 will eventually hit the version 1.0, the final version of Minecraft, and hopefully catch up to the PC then after.
If the process does get sped up, a lot of good things will happen, not only for Xbox Minecraft, but for other games as well. Earlier updates to games could keep some of them from dying and perhaps a few console MMO releases will be made. I say that because the long awaited sequel to my favorite console MMO, Phantasy Star Online 2, might only see a launch on the PC because of the frustration the certification process brought to SEGA for Phantasy Star Online Universe. The Japanese PC version is light years ahead of the game, inevitably causing the console version’s slow and painful demise.
Regardless of all this, I doubt the frequency of updates will hit what PC developers have, which is pretty much free-reign. But speeding up the process still means a lot. I understand there will always have to be testing of some sort, but hey, if I get my patches in sooner, I’m a happy gamer.