Microsoft Cancels Super Duper Graphics Pack for Minecraft

Posted on August 12, 2019 by Brad Sams in Games with 4 Comments

Microsoft Just Made All Your Minecraft Dreams Come True

Back at E3 2017, Microsft showed off what was going to be the next major update for Minecraft. Called the Super Duper Graphics Pack, the update would significantly improve the visual assets of the game and add a new dimension to the blocky universe.

Unfortunately, the graphics pack has been canceled and will never be released. Posting on the Minecraft blog, Microsoft has indicated that the update is “too technically demanding to implement as planned” and has been canceled.

Further, the company says that they were not happy with the performance across devices for this update, leading to it being scrapped. Considering this pack was announced as a way to showcase the power of Scorpio (Xbox One X) and that it will now never see the light of day, to say it’s disappointing, is a bit of an understatement.

This update would have brought to Minecraft features such as volumetric lighting, enhanced water, and reflective textures, dynamic shadows, edge highlighting, and a lot more.

While we may not ever know the full reason why this pack was pulled, it may have been a project that simply took too long to develop for low-end consoles. When you look at what the features the update would have provided, it’s not hard to see that the original Xbox would have likely struggled to run the update and if the pack wouldn’t work on all Xbox versions, the risk of splitting the Xbox userbase likely played a key role into the decision.

You can also look at other technology improvements that have since been released since the pack was announced, notably ray tracing, that would make some of the features that would have been implemented as redundant with that technology. But for now, this pack is dead, but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Microsoft try to push a similar update down the road once the Scorpio is considered the entry-level Xbox hardware.

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Comments (4)

4 responses to “Microsoft Cancels Super Duper Graphics Pack for Minecraft”

  1. ReformedCtrlZ

    I suppose this is the downside to having one version of Minecraft work everywhere, you're hindered by the limitations of ALL of those devices. I could see this being a limitation of the mobile/switch versions of the game and not particularly the Xbox consoles, although it's obviously possible the original console Xbox one is on the list as well.

  2. evox81

    I've never played Minecraft, so I don't really get how interoperability works, but are all versions of Minecraft graphically identical today? By identical I mean, same textures, running on the same engine in every single version regardless of hardware?


    Considering the same version of a game can run on anything from the original Xbox One to the Xbox One X with the only difference being the graphics features that are turned on and the textures that get loaded, I feel like this shouldn't have been a technical hurdle that was too hard for Microsoft to overcome.

  3. jimchamplin

    I mean... Why wouldn't they just make it all available in the video settings?


    "Oh no! Older hardware may have to use reduced settings! None of our customers could ever understand that!"

  4. Patrick3D

    I figured they would cancel it after all the delays and lack of response from the development team and simply branch it off into a its own product as Minecraft 2. Wouldn't be surprised to see that get announced at next E3, 2021 by the latest. They will make far more money off of a sequel than they would trying to sell a limited audience a graphics pack.

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