Minecon 2016: Minecraft console edition gets polar bears and beetroot, and Max Brooks is writing a Minecraft novel

It's been a big weekend for Minecraft (opens in new tab). Minecon 2016 has just finished in California, bringing with it a slew of blocky news. There's an official Minecraft novel called The Island coming from World War Z author Max Brooks (yes, really), Oculus Touch is on the way to Minecraft and the console edition is getting a massive new free update that adds bears, banners and, err, beetroot. The free update will arrive on Xbox and US Wii U owners on October 4 and PlayStation on October 5 and will include 7 new block types and polar bears wandering the Arctic biomes.

Less free but ridiculously pretty is the new Chinese Mythology Mash-Up pack which brings in beautiful architecture, cherry blossoms and, of course, dragons. It also has a new map for the Minecraft Battle Mode mini game (opens in new tab). There's 41 new skins and 12 themed music tracks for use in your own creations and it's out also out on October 4 for $4.99. Check out how pretty it is in the trailer below. 

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Louise Blain is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in gaming, technology, and entertainment. She is the presenter of BBC Radio 3’s monthly Sound of Gaming show and has a weekly consumer tech slot on BBC Radio Scotland. She can also be found on BBC Radio 4, BBC Five Live, Netflix UK's YouTube Channel, and on The Evolution of Horror podcast. As well as her work on GamesRadar, Louise writes for NME, T3, and TechRadar. When she’s not working, you can probably find her watching horror movies or playing an Assassin’s Creed game and getting distracted by Photo Mode.