Nobody can accuse the Minecraft creators of being lazy. If you're a regular player, you'll know that the game is constantly being updated and improved, with new elements and items keeping everyone entertained. Version 1.6 is no exception - it's visible on the horizon and it's looking good. By far the best new addition? Well, we've given you a little hint above...
What's new in Minecraft 1.6? A new launcher, and Java 6
The most significant technological change is that Minecraft will now be built for Java 6, as opposed to Java 5. This means that you'll now need OpenGL 2.0 to use it - 1.2 and 1.3 will no longer do. In real terms, that means very little to the average computer user, but you should make sure you have downloaded the latest version of Java. This is a good idea even if you're not thinking of playing Minecraft - you'll need updated Java to view lots of websites and to avoid malware that takes advantage of unpatched Java bugs.
Minecraft developers are also working on a new version of the game's launcher - the window you see when you start up the game. This starter will include options to pick which version of the game you want to play, as well as some more advanced settings.
Even better, there are horses!
For most people, Minecraft's new animals are far more interesting than what Java version it's going to use. Minecraft 1.6 will feature horses, donkeys, and mules. They've really gone to town with this mob - there will be 35 possible color combinations, running from gray, bay and chestnut bases to stockings, pinto and back blanket markings. If that wasn't enough excitement for you, there'll also be horse zombies and skeletons. The horses will eat fairly standard fare - apples and hay, among other items - and can be tamed. In order to ride the animals, you'll need a saddle, and you'll also be able to protect your steed with armor.
Getting back to the hay, it's worth mentioning that you can use 9 sheaves to create a hay bale. Another new feature are leashes, for tying your animals to fences. Other random changes include new coal and hardened clay blocks, more deserty deserts and an improved enchantment - Respiration - to see underwater. More domestic types will also be glad to see that you can now add carpets to translucent blocks and stoves are in full working order!
When can I get Minecraft 1.6?
The stable version of Minecraft 1.6 may appear at the end of May 2013, but we still don't have any concrete details. If you're happy trying the unstable version, though, it's available for download here.