One of the best aspects of the Xbox One is how Microsoft is continuously updating, refining and evolving the system’s software. In 2015, Microsoft brought the Windows 10 kernel to the Xbox One and launched a dedicated Xbox App for Windows. Today, the Seattle based company is once again revealing how it is continuing to close the gap between its console and PC ecosystems via a brand new Xbox One update.
As with previous software updates to the Xbox One, the latest update will release in waves, first through a Preview Program before eventually being released to the general public. The new Xbox One update will arrive this week on console to Preview Program members [Vamers has a console in the preview program and we will be reporting on the changes once the console is updated] before eventually filtering through to the Xbox App. (Beta) for Windows 10, which is basically a toned down and virtualised version of the Xbox One’s operating system. As with previous updates, new features will be rolled out to Preview Members in waves, with the biggest addition being the incorporation of Cortana, the Windows 10 digital assistant, on the Xbox One.
Microsoft’s primary aim for the new updates to the Xbox One and Xbox App. (Beta) is to “bring together more people and more games across devices through Xbox Live“. As such, the new ‘Summer 2016 Update’ is going to give gamers access to a unified Xbox and Microsoft online store, Cortana integration for easier navigation and access to system features, easier sharing of captured content, additional Facebook integration, better game management and more.
As with previous updates for the New Xbox One Experience, the Preview Program is only for gamers who opt-in to test the software; mainly because all new features are a work-in-progress and will continue to be refined before launching to the broader community.
Below is a full and detailed breakdown of what is expected to rollout to Xbox One Preview this week, and what will eventually filter through to the public in the new Xbox One update and Windows 10 Xbox App. (Beta).
- Cortana on Xbox One: Cortana is coming to Preview Members in the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain first, and gamers can expect the same kind of Cortana experience that is found on other Windows 10 devices. Cortana voice commands on Xbox One will work with both headsets and Kinect. Cortona can be used to find great new games, see what friends are up to, start a party, accomplish common tasks, turn on the Xbox One via Kinect, and more. Microsoft aims to continue to build Cortana features over time and to make Cortana the best digital assistant for gamers. Cortona is activated by saying “Hey Cortana” to Kinect or into a connect microphone or by launching the app to get started.
- New Game Collection: The Game Collection interface is being updated to make it faster and easier to find and launch games. Gone are the days of slow and endless scrolling and loading. Even ‘Ready to Install’ games are getting their own tab. The Game Collection will also provide more information about titles and includes new sorting features as well as context sensitive information, like how quickly a game is being downloaded or access to the games most recently played over the last seven days. It looks like a great improvement.
- Facebook Friend Finder on Xbox One: Facebook Friend Finder is expanding from the Xbox App (Beta) to Xbox One and is a great way to find and add Facebook friends on the Xbox platform. As more gamers link their Facebook and Xbox Live accounts, the easier it will be to begin seeing more suggestions for Facebook friends to add and game with on Xbox Live.
- Improved sharing on Xbox One: The update is going to make it even easier to share your screenshots, GameDVR clips, and achievements on Xbox One. Gamers can now share their most epic clips and captures with the community in fewer steps and even download uploaded clips to their desktops via the Xbox App. (Beta) for additional editing.
Xbox app and Windows 10 gaming
- Edit and share GameDVR clips on any video editor: the Xbox App. (Beta) will now allow gamers to create that perfect gaming montage by using their favourite video editor with clips recorded on either Xbox One or Windows PC. After editing, the clip can be uploaded back to Xbox Live directly through the Xbox App. (Beta).
- Updated GameDVR management: game captures can now be managed directly from an Xbox profile. This new destination allows gamers to share, start their own uploads, and see progress in the queue.
- 60 fps game clip recording with the Game bar: Using the new “Very High” video quality setting in the Xbox App. (Beta), will allow gamers to record their game clips in up to 60 frames per second (in addition to 30 frames per second) easily, all from the Game bar (Windows + G).
- Share to Twitter from Xbox app: In addition to additional Facebook integration on Xbox One, the Xbox App. (Beta) will now also allow gamers to share game clips and screenshots from Xbox Live directly to Twitter through the sharing options on each capture.
- Windows Game bar improved full-screen support: One of the most requested features for the Windows 10 GameDVR feature is the ability to use the Windows Game bar with more games running in full-screen. The new update to the Xbox App. (Beta) now adds support support for six additional games in full-screen mode with Windows game bar: League of Legends, World of Warcraft, DOTA 2, Battlefield 4, Counterstrike: Global Offensive, and Diablo III. Simply use Windows + G with those games to bring up the Windows Game bar when the game is running full-screen.
Xbox One and Xbox app
- Top PC games show up on Xbox Live: We’re bringing the top PC games like League of Legends and XCOM 2 together with the Xbox Live community. Meaning, your favorite PC games will have their own Game Hubs on Xbox Live. Whether you’re on your PC, Xbox, or mobile phone, you’ll be able to see what PC games your friends are playing, share your own PC gaming clips and screenshots with the community, and message your friends on Xbox Live. On both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, you‘ll also be able to party chat with your friends no matter what they’re doing.
- Xbox and Windows Store convergence: We’re starting to combine the best of the Xbox Store and Windows Store to give gamers a single cohesive experience across their devices. On Xbox One, we’ve streamlined the shopping experience to help you find the games you love faster and at the best prices. You’ll be able to filter, browse and search results by genre, read reviews written by fellow gamers – including those voted “most helpful” by the Xbox Live community, easily recognize what titles are on sale with strikethrough pricing in lists, and more. We’ve also added several new channels to help you discover the content you love even faster. On the Windows Store, we’re adding support so gamers can browse and purchase bundles, episodic games, season passes, virtual currency and other game add-ons and DLC.
- More personal Activity Feed: Being able to choose what’s posted to your Activity Feed across Xbox One and the Xbox app is a big fan-requested feature. With the new settings, you can now decide what will get automatically shared to your feed. You can now also craft the perfect Activity Feed posts. At the top of your Activity Feed, easily access and choose from recently unlocked achievements and captures, preview what your post would look like, and then share your greatest gaming moments.
[Source: Xbox Wire]
Owner, founder and editor-in-chief at Vamers, Hans has a vested interest in geek culture and the interactive entertainment industry. With a Masters degree in Communications and Ludology, he is well read and versed in matters relating to video games and communication media, among many other topics of interest.