Minecraft creator discusses Xbox 360 port, Kinect functionality

Markus Persson, better known as "Notch" to his followers, recently chatted with IGN about the upcoming Xbox 360 version of Minecraft--"actual game title not decided yet." Yes, although the Xbox 360 version of the game is largely based on the original PC game, Notch admits that it is "a new product... designed to work better on a console and to focus on the types of experiences you expect when playing games on a console."

So, how will the console version of the game differ from the original? "The crafting needs to be done completely different. The current type of crafting with a game controller would be about as fun as name-entry is." If crafting drastically changes, no wonder Minecraft's title on Xbox 360 would need an adjustment. Perhaps one that reflects the game's silly Kinect implementation? "I'm trying very hard to make sure we have a setting you can turn on that turns the game into what everyone is joking about; you wave your arms around to mine and use items. It's just too silly not to include. Punching trees from the comfort of your living room has never been this immersive before."

Minecraft's move to console is a surprise, even for Notch, as he admits "if I had intended for Minecraft to end up on consoles, I wouldn't have developed the game in Java. The decision to port the game to consoles came from a combination of player requests, a desire to play around with the brand on different platforms." In addition to a console release, Minecraft is also coming to mobile phones via the Xperia Play. After the release of the Xbox 360 release, is it possible to see another console version--perhaps on Wii U or PlayStation 3? Notch admits he can't say anything, but noted that "almost all of the big companies talked to us."

A key feature that will be maintained for the console version is the game's fluid approach to release. "One major point for us was for us to keep our culture and to be able to make games in the way we want to make games, where we can release games fairly early and keep iterating on them based of community feedback for a long time." So, it's safe to assume the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft will be home to many, many title updates.

Minecraft for Xbox 360 will be released this winter.