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Minecraft to launch on Xbox 360 without Kinect compatibility

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Minecraft is set to launch on Xbox 360 this Spring, but without one key component - Xbox Kinect compatibility.

Back in October, Microsoft's XBLA video game producer Stuart Platt told fans Minecraft 360 will support both the standard controller as well as Kinect.  He didn't, however, promise it would feature Kinect functionality at launch.  Fast forward a few months later, and Minecraft 360 lead producer Roger Carpenter has confirmed that Kinect compatibility won't be ready for launch.

"It won't be for launch," Carpenter said to Hookshot.  "We took on quite a task bringing this game to Xbox 360, and we didn’t want to break Minecraft. But it’s not off the menu."

What is on the menu, though, is multiplayer support.  In October, Platt tossed around the possibility that Minecraft 360 could feature multiplayer.  Now, it is a confirmed feature.

"The game will support four-player local splitscreen and eight players over Xbox Live, and you can mix and match the splitscreen and online modes. Also, you can only play with people on your Friends List, so there’s no griefing from strangers."

Other planned features for the game include Xbox 360 achievements, although Carpenter couldn't say much.

Minecraft for the Xbox 360 won't come without sacrifices, however.  Most notably will be the inability to download mods for the game - an important and huge aspect of the PC version.

"It's going to be a tougher nut to crack," Carpenter said of the Xbox 360's closed system which would prevent the creation and download of mods for Minecraft.

"It’s something on the list of things to investigate. It might be for something further down the line. The priority we’re looking at things is in this order: skins, textures and then mods. That’s how we’ll tackle things."

Speaking of textures and skins, Carpenter said they are looking at it in "great detail."

"The easy answer is, at launch, no," he said.  "But this is definitely something that Mojang, 4J Studios (the developer handling the conversion) and Microsoft are looking at, with a future in mind. Whatever we do will be a custom solution for Xbox, and will be for the Xbox version only. There are definitely some thoughts in that area."

Minecraft for Xbox 360 is still slated for a Spring 2012 release, but Carpenter did not give a specific release date.  The pricing for the game is still unknown.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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