A new launcher for the PC version of Minecraft is now available, bringing with it an updated interface as well as security and stability upgrades, developer Mojang announced today.
Minecraft players don't need to re-purchase the game in order to use the new launcher, which is available now for Windows PC, Mac and Linux. Installing the new launcher is required to play the latest version of the game — Minecraft 1.6 — and all future updates, as the old launcher will no longer be compatible.
The previous version of Minecraft, version 1.5.2, can still be played on the old launcher, which is available for download here.
The new launcher features several tweaks, including a self-updating system for downloads that eliminates the need for manual updates, the ability to switch between other versions of the game, tighter password security and increased performance and stability through an updated game code library.
Mojang notes that players must manually select to be offline, otherwise the new launcher will continue to attempt a server connection. The studio also notes the new launcher will help set things up for future plugin APIs.
Download the new Minecraft launcher here.