Call in sick to work, because the 1.7.3 update for Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition lands tomorrow. The title update will go live at 2AM UTC. Among the new features and fixes are the inclusion of Pistons, a character skin selector, and precautions to keep unwanted players out of your game. Also detailed recently were a number of new skins for the upcoming Skin Pack 1 downloadable content. Banjo is joined by additional characters from the Banjo-Kazooie universe, and more variants of the Trials riders have been revealed. These skins join a growing list of characters including Master Chief, 'Splosion Man, and Jack of Blades. Priced at a cool 160 MSP the pack will include 40 skins for players to choose from.
Hit the jump for a full list of features and updates included in 1.7.3 along with a glimpse of the new Trials rider skins.
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After launching on the original Xbox back in 2004, Xbox Live Arcade matured when it made the leap to the 360 and became home to an impressive stable of downloadable titles from small and independent developers. More recently, however, scores of indies have retreated from XBLA in favor of platforms such as Steam, iOS and Android. Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer, speaking with Games Industry International, addressed the current role indie developers play in the Xbox Live Arcade landscape.
"The term indie does not necessarily mean 'small.' Some of the most independent studios I've ever met are some of the largest studios I've ever met," said Spencer. "I think if what we're saying is if there is content available for Xbox at multiple price points, both from what it costs to build the content and buy the content, or does everything have to compete at $60 and beyond? I'm really happy with the different price points that we see on Xbox; we just put out Minecraft last month and sold 2 million units. Trials came out and did incredibly well. Further down on price point, I'm playing The Walking Dead, which is an episodic game for $5 or so [Editor's Note: The two episodes currently sell for 400 Microsoft Points each], forgot the exact price. We have price points for content across the 360.
"The nice thing is we have successes at these different prices; there are real businesses that can be made at the different levels that are available. That's a strength of the Live marketplace."