Microsoft wants to ensure that Xbox Live is able to cultivate a safe, fun and reliable online community, where all types of gamers are welcome, respected and supported. In order to help support and realise this cohesive and all encompassing vision of ‘community’, a slew of new features are going to be implemented within Xbox Live. These features are being put in place in order to help break down the barriers between gamers playing on different devices and to make gaming more accessible for all. The new Xbox Live updates are as follows:
- Clubs on Xbox Live: A new way to connect with gamers and create private communities with people who have similar play styles, personal interests and values.
- Looking for Group on Xbox Live: Like a “want ad” for multiplayer, Looking for Group on Xbox Live is the easiest way to seek out players who are available, and qualified, to jump into your multiplayer match right now.
- Arena on Xbox Live: A new online tournaments platform designed for everyone, from novice to aspiring pro, Arena on Xbox Live brings competitive gaming to Xbox One and Windows 10 devices. Sign up for tournaments directly through the Xbox UI or the Xbox app and play for prizes and “bragging rights”.
- Cross-play: Gamers on Xbox One and Windows 10 can now play select multiplayer games together. Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Sea of Thieves and Scalebound all support cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and now Minecraft players on iOS, Android, Windows 10 phone and Windows 10 devices can all join together in cross-device multiplayer fun.
- Cortana on Xbox One: Microsoft is bringing the popular digital assistant Cortana to Xbox One, featuring familiar voice commands available on Windows 10 devices and new gaming-specific scenarios for Xbox One. Cortana will initially launch on Xbox One in the U.S. and U.K. with additional markets coming soon after.
- PC games (Win32) in Xbox Live: With the Xbox update coming soon, gamers will see the top PC games on Xbox Live, with more added every month. The Xbox app can be used to see what PC games your friends are playing, view game clips and upload your own, and message and voice chat with friends across games.
- Language Region Independence: Microsoft is enabling Language Region Independence to give gamers even more control over their Xbox experience and how they engage with their Xbox One. Language Region Independence gives gamers the freedom to choose any supported language on Xbox One, regardless of their location.
These Xbox Live updates go hand-in-hand with Microsoft’s recently announced Xbox Play Anywhere initiative, which ensures that Xbox gamers are always able to play their games, irrespective of the Microsoft platform they are playing on.