Details were announced today on how the achievement system will operate on the Xbox One. Achievements as we know and love them will continue, as well as all of your existing achievements and gamerscore will follow you to the Xbox One as previously announced.
The most interesting take from the detailed explanation, is the addition of challenges
. Challenges can be time-specific, community based, or related to some other application. The most recent Microsoft Store
badge that has been popping up is a perfect example of how a challenge will be awarded. These badges will not add to your gamerscore, only games can add to your total score. Challenges will simply award a badge that is added to your achievement list.
Additionally, gamers can now unlock new maps, digital artwork, characters, and even temporary stat boosts via achievements. And these awards are not just limited to games, other Xbox One applications such as video and music apps can now use achievements to bring you additional content, such as sneak peeks, early access, or extend your subscription.
Achievements and challenges are both officially considered Xbox Live Achievements, so they inherit many of the same benefits:
- You can unlock them and win their rewards;
- Once unlocked, they are saved to your achievement history;
- They each have an icon to visualize the cool thing you did;
- They often are associated with a Game DVR capture to show your friends that you are better than they are
- Developers can release more of them after the game’s initial release (more on that in a bit).
Additional differences between challenges and achievements:
Challenges are time based. As just noted, challenges are only available for a certain period of time. Only your activity during that timeframe will count toward unlocking the challenge. Achievements do not expire, so you can unlock them at your leisure.
Challenges do not give out Gamerscore. We want everyone to have the same shot at increasing their Gamerscore to its highest potential. Since challenges are intentionally temporary (an opportunity) and achievements never expire (a promise), only achievements may offer Gamerscore as a reward.
Challenges may cross titles, but achievements cannot. Achievements cannot be shared across titles whereas challenges are allowed to span multiple titles.
Challenges can be unlocked by the community. Community challenges are typically goals that exceed what a lone player can accomplish in the given period of time. Imagine, for example, a game releases a headshot weekend challenge that requires players to cumulatively headshot 1 million baddies in a 3 day period. And every person who participates and meets the challenge’s goals gets the unlock on his or her achievement history and reaps its reward.
Additionally, the new achievement system is "powered by the cloud". What this means in practical terms means it makes it easy to run challenges across all players of a game simultaneously. Additionally, developers can offer additional achievements in the form of challenges to players for free, without requiring the purchase of additional DLC. Developers can also quickly respond to player activities and reward things you find fun. It also empowers the developers to include the community in the achievement development progress.
A summary of the new features of the Xbox One achievement system:
- The Xbox One dashboard experience greatly improves how you discover and view Xbox Live Achievements.
- Ever wondered how far along you were toward completing an achievement, particularly those that involve a lot of collection or linear progress? With Xbox One, games may now expose your latest progression toward unlocking an achievement right on the dashboard, even before you launch the game.
- Quickly catch up on what your friends have been up with the achievement activity feed that keeps you informed about your friends’ latest unlocked achievements.
- Check out video clips of that magical moment when an achievement was unlocked.
Easily discover upcoming challenges for a game at any time.
- Your achievement history has been transformed into a more beautiful gallery of achievement icons that properly show off your hard-earned victories.
The new achievement system is scheduled to launch with the Xbox One in November of 2013.