Microsoft has just announced the rollout of significant upgrades for the Xbox One centering on social and entertainment features. These will be rolling out to the preview members and all Xbox One owners in the next few months.
The Party App has been significantly re-thought, now including the ability to view the current activities, and quickly do tasks such as muting and joining/sending invites to games. A new feature is the “Party Leader,” who acts as an admin able to remove users from the party and set the invitation requirements.
Complementing this is the New Friends section, which will continue to roll out to preview members, and includes glanceable information on your friends.
The update also includes a myriad of upgrades for the entertainment experience Microsoft had promised. There are big changes such as the Media Player, and app that well let you play media from USB devices, with DLNA connected home media server support coming soon. You will also be able to do this in the reverse order. The SmartGlass app provides you with the ability to watch TV Channels on your tablets or phones, while playing video games on your TV.
The Redmond tech giant is also showing Europe some love with its Xbox One Digital TV Tuner, which will preview in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Also, “Xbox On” for the Kinect will be recognized in Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Brazil.
Little conveniences such as booting out of standby directly to television and a miniguide at the button of the screen (in markets with OneGuide), will be a great addition.
There are also updates to the SmartGlass app for your activity feed and profile, along with recording directly from the Now Playing bar. There are more signs of an integrated system, as you can save your Avatar GamePic to your OneDrive account. Additionally, there are tweaks to the Settings, and a way to view bandwidth usage.
These updates have been rolling out since today to Xbox One Preview Members, and will roll out to all owners in the upcoming months. These updates to the social and television experiences reveal Microsoft’s commitment to be the center of your living room experience resolved as ever.Further reading: Kinect, Microsoft, Xbox One