These new high-end videocards are fast! How about Minecraft in windowed mode?

The latest version of the voxel-based sandbox (and dirtbox, and stonebox) game will be launch Friday morning for us North Americans. While several of the features might be paradoxical if you think about it, "Less ocean, more awesome" vs "Fishing!", this is an absolutely gigantic release. Most importantly, they have overhauled their world generation code and completely rewrote their networking systems.

If you currently run a server, be sure to make a pit-stop at version 1.6.4 before upgrading to 1.7.1. The release highlights for 1.6.4 contain:

This update fixes world generation bugs that would appear in 1.7. It is recommended that you use this version and load up important areas of your world before heading into Minecraft 1.7 ((Emphasis mine))

I would follow this advice very carefully. (But what do I know?)

The update also adds several new blocks: stained glass, packed ice, red sand, podzol, new types of wood, and so forth. Stained glass, in particular, was once an April Fool's 2013 joke (like Block of Coal or, to some extent, horses) which made its way into the game proper. This should hopefully address some of the more bland designs caused by the limitations of glass.

Minecraft 1.7.1 will drop Friday at 15:00 CEST. Because PC Perspective is a North American company, this translates to 9am EDT and 6am PDT.