Though it took a few extra days of coding, Mojang finally made the "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update prerelease files available for download on Thursday, just under a week before the patch officially launches on March 13.

Many gamers were disappointed when the "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update prerelease didn't make it's originally scheduled debut on March 1; however, Mojang hasn't exactly left "Minecraft" players out in the proverbial cold in the interim. In fact, the studio released five "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update preview snapshots during an 8-day period, keeping "Minecraft" players in-the-loop on all the latest changes to the popular sandbox title as it crawled towards a fifth major update since reaching 1.0 status back in November 2011.

Update: The "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update is now live. Just launch "Minecraft" on your Mac or PC to begin downloading the latest update.

Still, as interest in the increasingly common "Minecraft" snapshots began to wane, it was clear that gamers were growing anxious to finally get their hands on the final build of the "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update.

Thankfully, after a surprising number of crash-inducing bugs forced a delay of the "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update release date, Mojang has finally confirmed that the next major "Minecraft" will go live late next week. Even better, the studio released an early build of the "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update for those who just can't wait another six days.

While the change log for the "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update is devoid of bug fix mentions, dozens of issues have apparently been corrected in the latest "Minecraft" patch, with Mojang's Jens Bergensten recently going as-far as to say that the "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update wouldn't be released until the team had discovered and corrected every crash-inducing or redstone-related bug that remained.

For those who haven't been following along in recent weeks/months, the "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update will introduce a completely overhauled lighting engine to the game, new blocks like the Dropper (which was still being tweaked as recently as Wednesday), a new ore in the Nether, updated redstone mechanics, increasingly difficult mobs, scoreboards, and more bug fixes than you can shake a stick at.

If you haven't tested a "Minecraft" snapshot before, or it's been a long time since you last did so, you can find a handy guide to getting the "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update running on your machine over at PCGamesN. If you have, head over to the official Mojang blog for links to download the "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update prerelease files now.

Here's the full "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update prerelease change log:

  • - Added Redstone Comparator (used in Redstone logic)
  • - Added Hopper (collects items and moves them to containers)
  • - Added Dropper (similar to Dispensers, but always drops the item)
  • - Added Activator Rail (activates TNT Minecarts)
  • - Added Daylight Sensor
  • - Added Trapped Chest
  • - Added Weighed Pressure Plate
  • - Added Block of Redstone
  • - Added Nether Brick (item)
  • - Added Nether Quartz and ore
  • - Added Block of Quartz, with half blocks and chiseled variants
  • - New command: /scoreboard
  • - New command: /effect
  • - Containers and mobs can have custom names
  • - Inventory management has been changed, for example you can drag-place items over slots
  • - Texture packs now have separate images for each block and item, and can have animations
  • - Nether Quartz Ore now spawns in the Nether
  • - Smooth lighting now has three settings (none, minimal, maximum)
  • - More detailed death messages
  • - Some hostile mobs now are harder in Hard difficulty
  • - Many, many, bug fixes
  • - Removed Herobrine

What's the first thing you plan to build after downloading the "Minecraft" 1.5 Redstone Update prerelease? Are you planning to wait for the final build to go live next week? Unhappy with recent changes introduced in recent "Minecraft" snapshots?

Let us know in the comments section!

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