4J released a new screenshot of Minecraft Xbox 360 update 9 the other day. Little did we know, the developer has managed to fit most of the changelog right inside it. Ah, the magic of splitscreen.
You can see a number of new features in the shot, including dispensers, the End Portal and the EnderDragon (well, a fearsome purple-shot darkness with "EnderDragon" written on it). In hindsight, though, the most appetising elements of the picture are also the least spectacular - item frames.
What are item frames, you breathlessly ask? They're square panels in which you can store a single item, creating a picture you can place on cactus blocks, pressure plates, fences, trees, slabs and cobblestone walls, along with all solid blocks. Placing and removing an item is as simple as clicking it, making frames a conveniently accessible repository that takes up less space than a chest, and also serves as decoration.
As with Minecraft in general, the possibilities are endless whether you're out to make your world look good or have a more practical purpose in mind. Set up a complex arrangement of pistons? Colour code the relevant levers by placing them atop item frames, for greater ease of use. Built a to-scale replica of Isengard? Pin up a map and compass in the topmost chamber to help visitors get their bearings - each tool will work as normal inside the frame.
Naturally, you can convey complicated ideas using multiple item frames - recipes, for instance, with the ingredients ready to hand. You can store fire in them too, if you're keen on mood lighting. More details can be found over at the Minecraft wiki.
Read more about the showier/draconic aspects of the forthcoming update in our Minecraft Xbox 360 update 9 survival guide. Anything in particular you're hungry for?