Minecraft:Wolves, Achievements, Mods, Merch
Ah, this reminds me of how we excitedly documented each and every Team Fortress 2 patch a couple of years ago. There's a point only a few games attain, when the level of interest and enthusiasm is so high that even a hint of additional features is enough to make a headline. In Minecraft's case, it's still very much an evolving game, with almost no-one (and quite possibly actually no-one) really sure what its final form will be.
What we do know is that it will at least includes wolves, movable respawn points, a stats and achievements system and the delightful promise of proper modding support. Also, merchandise.
We already knew about the pet wolves, which together with the respawn tweaking and the achievements have been promised for the very next update. This, Notch claims, is due "soon," as he's apparently been able to escape the numerous distractions which have kept him from Minecraft development lately and knuckle down on some coding.
For those worried about the dreaded a-word, an earlier post revealed that "Achievements will NOT be chores like “cut down 10000 trees”, but rather challenges like 'ride a pig off a cliff'." Pig-cliff-riding: we can get behind that, right?
A modding API should follow afterwards. The mind sort of boggles about what people could come up with from that, given the game is essentially already modkit (conceptually speaking) in the first place.
Also, you can now buy official Minecraft t-shirts. Hooray for torso-based gaming celebration! Creeper Inside is my favourite.