Two Years Later, Minecraft Still Doesn't Have Its Xbox One X Graphics Enhancements

Screenshot: Microsoft (YouTube)

The Super Duper Graphics Pack for Minecraft was announced at E3 2017. Just over two years later, it’s still never been released, and there has been little news about the update’s progress.

Back in 2017, the team sounded optimistic. “Today we’re revealing a new look for Minecraft that we’re super duper excited for you to try out, one that’s inspired by the power of Xbox One X and available this fall,” said Mojang brand director Lydia Winters on stage at Microsoft’s press conference that year. She was referring to the Super Duper Graphics Pack, an update that would allow Minecraft to run in 4K, as well as add new lighting effects and, on the Xbox One X at least, increase draw distances to make players’ worlds feel that much bigger.

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While the Xbox One X came out as scheduled that fall, the Super Duper Graphics Pack did not. At MineCon later that year, the game’s studio announced it had been delayed until the following year. “There’s a lot of work to be done still and we’re not going to be ready to launch it in 2017,” the company wrote on its website. “We’ll be releasing Super Duper next year, and we’ll have more information for you here on Minecraft.net soon.”

That information never came, though, leaving people to wonder about its fate to this day. Minecraft wasn’t featured prominently at E3 last year or this year, and while the game has received major updates in the last two years, including The Life Aquatic patch that added oceanic exploration and cross-play between Minecraft players on Xbox One, PC, mobile, and Switch, the 4K graphics showcased two years on the Xbox One X are still missing. Notably, it’s the only first-party game on the platform that still doesn’t have any Xbox One X enhanced features.

While there’s been no official update about what’s going on with the Super Duper Graphics Pack from Microsoft (which declined to comment for this story), developers at Mojang said at a MineCon Earth panel last October that the update was proving trickier than originally thought, requiring portions of the game engine to be overhauled. This past March, community manager Helen Zbihlyj said on Twitter that there were only eight people working on the game’s new graphics engine, stressing what a monumental task this was given all of the platforms it needs to support, including VR. (Mojang did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

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Given those factors, it’s not surprising that the Super Duper Graphics Pack is taking so long. If anything, the surprising part is that Microsoft decided to make such a big deal out of the new Xbox One X enhanced update so early.

While a thread about the missing graphics pack blows up on the Xbox One subreddit every so often, fans recently poked fun at a now infamous tweet made by a user called ItsGam3r saying they planned to buy an Xbox One X just for Minecraft after seeing the trailer for the new graphics. “It’s going to be great for Minecraft fans,” the official Xbox twitter account had responded at the time. “If only he knew…” wrote someone reposting the exchange on Reddit.

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“I never ended up actually buying an XB1X, lmao,” ItsGam3r told Kotaku in a DM. “Although it looked pretty sweet.”

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Ethan Gach

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com