Minecraft’s New 4K Textures Don’t Even Look Like Minecraft

Minecraft became a smash hit without all the fancy high-resolution textures and lighting effects that other popular games hype. In fact, developer Mojang intentionally eschewed that in the name of building a simple, block-based world that could be rendered on even mediocre PCs. With Microsoft at the helm, Minecraft has added new features and come to more platforms, but it hasn’t looked any different until now. Microsoft expects to launch a new texture pack alongside its 4K update later this year that completely changes how the game looks.

There are actually a number of big changes coming to Minecraft this year. First, there’s the Better Together update, which will be a free part of the base game. This unifies most versions of Minecraft under the same game engine, known as Bedrock. That’s already what powers the mobile, Windows 10, Amazon Fire, and VR versions. The update converts Xbox One and Switch to bedrock. The PS4 and PS4 Pro are going to remain an outlier for now. Microsoft isn’t getting into details, but Sony has the option of moving to Bedrock.

Getting all (or almost all) versions of the game on the same engine is crucial to Microsoft’s plans. That will make it easier to release new content and DLC that works across devices. That included Microsoft content, as well as user creations sold via the previously announced Community Marketplace. In addition, multiplayer will become cross-platform. Except for PS4 users, I guess. They’ll continue on in their own little bubble.

Also free will be the update to 4K resolution. So, if you’ve got a 4K screen Minecraft will run at your native resolution. The pixels will be sharper, but it’ll still look like Minecraft. The real transformation will come with the Super Duper Graphics Pack, which is expected this fall. Microsoft has finally shown off what the new textures look like, and it’s very different. All the images in this post are from the new texture pack.

minecraft-super2

The Minecraft world will still be composed of blocks with the Super Duper Graphics Pack, but they’ll be much prettier blocks. However, this will require the Bedrock platform, so PS4 users need not apply. The Super Duper Graphics Pack will include rippling water, cleaner lines, and more realistic lighting. This part of the update will come with a price tag, but Microsoft hasn’t decided how much to charge yet.

Updated: June 16, 2017 — 1:10 pm

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