In a continued effort to shape the Xbox One in the image of the community, Microsoft has revealed details of what updates are coming in March for the console. Outlined by Larry Hryb
, Xbox Live's Major Nelson, many of this month's updates were some of the top-voted Xbox Feedback requests. This includes the ability to purchase backward compatible Xbox 360 games straight from the Xbox One, and the addition of Party Chat broadcasting to Twitch.
Having backward compatible Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One, with many more to come in the future, is a great feature of the console. However, up until now users have been handicapped by an awkward inability to purchase the newly backward compatible games in a way that's easy and seamless. While games you already owned would simply show up in the 'Ready to Install' list, the ones that required a purchase meant having to either boot up the Xbox 360 or Xbox website to do so. With the update, a new section is being added to the Store that will allow users to buy the newly supported games straight from the Xbox One.
One of the most requested features from broadcasters was the ability to include Party Chat in Twitch streams. With a new update to the app, broadcasters will be able to invite other members of their party to include their audio in the Twitch stream. Party members are able to decline the inclusion of their audio on the stream and still be able to communicate with other members in the party. Windows 10 party members can be included in the Twitch stream too. You can also now set where the audio from Party Chat is outputted from. The options are through your headset, through the speakers, or both.
GameDVR is also receiving some more customized options. Currently GameDVR "Xbox Record That" recordings are fixed to a 30 second duration. With the update, the length can be set to 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, one minute, three minutes or five minutes. This should help in providing a little more breathing room when making edits for a gaming moment that you want to share. Video playback can now be done entirely in the Activity Feed. Rather than leaving the feed to launch a video, the entire thing can be viewed inline.
Tracking your Achievement progress is getting a little quicker and easier to access as well. A new Achievement section has been wedged between the Party and Notification sections of the Xbox One guide. Simply hovering over the Achievement icon brings up the list of Achievements for the game that you are currently playing. Achievements that have a progress towards completion will have a different colored bar to show just how much progress you're actually making. The need to go through a process just to snap your Achievement list to the screen has been virtually eliminated.
The Windows 10 Xbox app (beta) will now include the same Gamerscore Leaderboard that is currently on the Xbox One. This allows a comparison of both total Gamerscore and the biggest gains over a rolling 30-day period. This leaderboard will also track individual game stats. The 'Featured' section will now spotlight games, deals, community events, and more.
Both the Xbox One and Xbox app will see a Party Chat expansion to 16 people at a time. This is a further hike from the 12-person Party Chat that was introduced last fall. Xbox 360 Achievements will also begin posting on both of the Activity Feeds. These posts will mirror Xbox One achievements and include the graphic, description, the game from which it was earned, and the corresponding Gamerscore earned.
Community managers of Game Hubs are now able to include web and YouTube hyperlinks, allowing for more interactive posting. On the Xbox One, web links will open with the Edge app and YouTube videos will open with its own app. On the Windows 10 Xbox app, both types of links will open in your default browser.
Your avatar can now be compared to those of your friends. The Xbox Avatars app will allow you to preview friends' clothing, accessories and props, and will tell you how you can earn or buy them yourself. You will also be able to compare avatars with anyone in the community when viewing their profile. In another community update, the player feedback interface has been rearranged. 'Good' players will no longer feature a reputation gauge, while players marked as 'needs work' or 'avoid me' will continue to feature the flag.
The update is rolling out to Xbox One Preview members today, and will be available to Xbox app (beta) members tomorrow.