Minecraft's upcoming 1.5 PC update has been titled the Redstone Update and is set for a January 2013 release. The update focuses on the game's redstone ore, giving it variable signal strength, and introduces a new capacitor block. Players will be able to use the two items together to create objects like weighted pressure plates and pressure-sensitive detector rails.
Other improvements include better minecarts, a new nether-based ore for creating capacitors, and a daylight detector, which could be used for creating solar-panel-like devices. There will also be a host of bug fixes, such as for the south/east rule. Mojang warned that the tweaks may break compatibility with existing creations, such as those that rely on the block update design.
Mojang also provided details on its upcoming API, which will allow developers to create plug-ins for the game. A central repository on Mojang's site will house the plug-ins, all of which will be free for users to download. Plug-ins will be able to add or remove functionality from Minecraft, but not modify the core game engine.
Other tidbits revealed by Mojang included support for HD texture packs, user prompts for new updates, and a full open-source release.
For more on the 1.5 Redstone Update, check out our extended preview.