The day has finally come. Minecraft, one of the most insane seemingly overnight sensations in gaming in recent years, finally has a tentative release date. While Notch wants to stress that many things aren’t really going to change much between now and when the game finally releases other than the removal of the “Beta” status, but it is definitely finally getting a full release date; November 11th, 2011.
In the meantime, the team is working on getting Achievements and stat tracking working properly which should be ready for the next update, Beta Version 1.5. Having troubles with that, Notch has started work on weather effects, including snow and rain which will fall in the appropriate areas and will make the sky darker and obscure the stars and moon. In snowy areas, the water will turn into ice and snow will cover the ground again even after it’s been removed. When it’s raining, there will be occasional thunderstorms with lightning, though no word what effect the lightning bolts will have either on the environment, players or mobs.
Once stats, achievements and the weather are done the next update will be released with a hopeful window of next week.