New features are coming to Xbox Live and the Xbox One interface later this year. With the goal of creating a well-maintained, safe, and fun place for anyone to play anywhere, Microsoft is taking the feedback they’ve gained over the years and molding into a better experience. Most of these features not only affect the console family and Windows 10 PC, but also involves the Xbox Live app on iOS and Android and other Windows 10 devices. The new features we can expect follow as per the recent press release.
- 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. We’re 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 this summer you’ll see the top PC games on Xbox Live, with more added every month. Use the Xbox app 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. Based on overwhelming fan feedback, we’re 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.
In a nutshell these updates will enable situations of play like busting scrubs with the energy sword on Halo 5 and talking to a friend or group of friends playing Pinball FX2 on PC. This creates a seemless way to stay in touch with friends, develop communities, and have a little help with Cortana. Highly competive players will get in touch with the best players around with Arena, which will also lessen the bar of entry for many multiplayer arenas. Provided pro players stay in Arena anyways. . . I need a breather in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition alright!
I also look forward to being a part of the inevitable creation of a Marooners’ Rock Xbox Club. We’ll probably have that ready day one.