Early March seems to be the time frame that Microsoft wants to uplift the social experience on the Xbox One. As we mentioned in a previous article, Microsoft will be releasing a handful of Xbox One system updates over the next few weeks. Along with this, new information on the official headset for the console has been revealed.
The upcoming update releasing this week will be focusing on various apps and new features/functions to the hardware, while this early March update will help facilitate stronger multiplayer and co-op experiences. This particular update revolves around multiplayer functionality and chat features that people have really been wanting to see be amped up a bit (no pun intended). Many of these new additions will be pretty familiar to those who are accustomed to the Xbox 360 chat features, but are surely missed in the Xbox One software. Here's what we are going to see go live very soon:
- Get to your friends list faster. The friends list will be front and center on the homepage of the Friends app. Click the Social tile on Home, or say “Xbox, go to Friends” to see who’s online and what they’re up to. From there you can quickly send messages and get into a party.
- Party chat will be turned on by default. When you party up, chat audio will be turned on by default.
- Chat with friends playing different games. Party chat will be separated from people playing your game, so you can chat with your friends who are online or you can chat with everyone playing the game.
- We’re adding an “Invite friends to game” option to your multiplayer titles moving forward. Similar to Xbox 360 titles, this will appear inside a games’ menu and offer a simple and quicker way to set up your multiplayer battles. Selecting “Invite friends” will let you invite friends to your game and party.
- We’re adding “Recent Players.” This is a simple list that shows you Xbox Live members you’ve recently played with, making it easier to stay in touch with people, or add new friends after your multiplayer battles.
Additionally, Microsoft also revealed a projected release for their official headset and adapter of the Xbox One controller. The headset will feature over-the-ear headphones and a unidirectional mic, with the adapter coming packaged with the headset. The adapter will also be sold separately to allow existing headsets to be used and they are capable of controlling chat audio, muting, and volume from the button layout on the front. These headsets will cost around $80 a piece, while the adapter by itself will be priced at $25. Here are some quick facts about the headset/adapter that should answer some of the more frequently asked questions out there:
- Legacy gaming headsets receive game audio from the back of the console from the S/PDIF port, and receive chat audio by connecting the 2.5 mm chat cable to the adapter.
- New Xbox One Stereo Headsets receive chat and stereo directly from the adapter. There is no need to connect anything to the console.
- Any 3.5 mm stereo headset (that uses the CTIA plug standard) can receive stereo game audio by plugging into the adapter.
As Microsoft continues to listen to feedback from the gaming community, we hope to see even better features to come to the Xbox One, possibly even more co-op related ones! For now, we can rest easy knowing that our co-op sessions will be that much easier to do when we can communicate with one another easily, clearly, and with our own, personal headsets of choice.