Not much footage exists yet of the new dual-wielding mechanic coming in the 1.9 Combat Update, but every now and again, a new bit of goodness comes out to tease the senses! In the video above, Dinnerbone is mining with a diamond pick in his primary hand, while holding a torch in his off-hand. As he digs, he places a torch without having to switch items on the toolbar. Handy!
There are plenty of obvious applications for dual-wielding, both in and out of combat - including using two shields at once, for ultimate turtling action! - but just how clever will people be in coming up with new, creative uses for it? We already know you cannot use two swords at once (the off-hand can only use the right-click action of the item being held, and swords no longer block), but what else could be done? Potion-throwing is certainly viable. A player could also have dirt blocks in hand, for tactical pursuits (or retreats) in fights with others. What else can you think of?