The next Minecraft update will greatly expand the oceans of the block-building game, but the anticipated graphics upgrade and Nintendo Switch version with cross-platform play have been delayed to next year.
Developer Mojang made these announcements at the MineCon Earth 2017 convention, giving Minecraft players something to look forward to while waiting extra time for the delayed launches.
The Update Aquatic For 'Minecraft'
In a press release that collected all the announcements at MineCon Earth 2017, Mojang described The Update Aquatic as the biggest update ever for the oceans of Minecraft. The Update Aquatic will add several new water-related features, including more types of fish, dolphins, explorable shipwrecks, water physics, and more.
The waters of Minecraft used to only be worth diving into for building underwater bases and raiding ocean monuments. However, The Update Aquatic will drastically change things by splitting the oceans into biomes, each with different types of fish, kelp, and coral depending on the water temperature.
The dolphins will guide players to treasure, which are hidden in new structures that include shipwrecks and icebergs. Tridents will also be added as both a melee and ranged weapon, and they can be enchanted to return to players after throwing and to allow players to dash through short distances in the water, among other abilities.
Mojang, however, did not reveal when The Update Aquatic release date should be expected. The developer only said that it will be rolled out in spring next year.
Super Duper Graphics Pack, New Nintendo Switch Version Delayed To 2018
In addition to The Update Aquatic, the Super Duper Graphics pack and the Nintendo Switch version of the game that allows cross-platform play will also arrive next year. These two Minecraft releases have been delayed, as they were expected to arrive before the end of 2017.
The Super Duper Graphics pack was announced at this year's E3, and it promised a substantial visual upgrade that would make Minecraft look great on a 4K TV. The new version of the game, meanwhile, will enable cross-platform play for Nintendo Switch owners, expanding the capability beyond the Xbox One and Windows 10, though not including the PlayStation 4. The first release of Minecraft for the Nintendo Switch was an upgraded version of the title for the Nintendo Wii U.
Mojang did not provide a specific reason behind the delays. The Super Duper Graphics pack and the new Nintendo Switch version of Minecraft are just both not yet ready to be rolled out, though hopefully the wait would not be too long.