Get ready for some great news redstone lovers - Mojang have announced the focus of the 1.5 update and it is, you guessed it - REDSTONE! It's bringing a more customizable, predictable and stable redstone system that will allows for even complicated contraptions than before, multiple redstone signal strengths new redstone related blocks and a much needed rendering engine rewrite resulting in better performance. No new mobs are planned as of yet. The expected release is “probably not before Christmas”. Read on for more details and explanations.
The update's main focus is changing how redstone works. Redstone wires will now not only carry a 0/1 signal, but support multiple strengths via new blocks such as weighted pressure plates. This will allow a single wire to carry a significantly larger amount of information and make complicated contraptions that much simpler. Bugs will be squashed and the new redstone should be consistent and predictable allowing for more smart-buildy-stuff and less why-is-this-happening-stuff.
The rendering engine (most simply - that would be the thing that is”shows the graphics”) is being rewritten to be less buggy, way faster and smoother on newer system, but will “include a fallback for older systems”. This will finally bring with it support for HD texture packs, and it's about time that happened. No HD skins as of yet, but that's to be expected. It will also include a less intensive version of Dinnerbone's new fancy lighting options shown during 1.4 development but abandoned because of their instability.
A new ore may (not certain) be added into the Nether to encourage exploration of the realm. It would be used to craft the new redstone devices. Rails and minecarts should be significantly updated with support for chest interaction (filling and emptying) and multiple carts being linked together effectively (yes, TRAINS!). There's also talk about non-lethal fireworks, a method for storing enchantments on paper and even an updated PVP/Combat system, but nothing is 100% solid right now.
Stay tuned for more info on the 1.5 update and more Minecraft articles, and as always leave your feedback in the comment section below.