Xbox’s first 2016 gaming update: Avatar Store, Xbox News, Trending and more

Vu Anh Nguyen

The Xbox One, while not unsuccessful, still lags behind its biggest rival, the Playstation 4 in sales. Microsoft knows this, and as with any properly competitive underdog companies, they work on it it the only good way: by ramping up update speed and work harder to please fans. Sure enough, we’re only two-third into the first month of 2016, and Microsoft has already fired the shots with the announcement of the first slew of new Xbox features for the new year, arriving within the remaining days of the month. Let’s check the gaming side out.

Xbox Avatars has always been one of the cool features that set the Xbox ecosystem apart from Playstation. Similar to the Miis found on Nintendo’s consoles, Xbox players can create their own 3D super-deformed avatars, albeit a little more mature-looking than their Nintendo counterparts. The avatars can then be dressed up with a variety of accesories from the Avatar  Store to better display the owner’s individuality. With the new update, the Avatar Store is now integrated right into the Xbox Avatars App on the console and Windows 10.


To help players keep up with Xbox-related gaming news, Microsoft is also integrating a new Xbox News feature into the Xbox One and the Windows Xbox Beta app. The feature will show news on the activity feed on both location. Another news improvement is in the Trending section, displaying the most popular topics on Xbox Live. Trending can now be accessed to the right of the Community tab on console, and and in the left menu area of the Xbox app.

Suggested friends also gets an update, allowing users to see a full-screen list of all suggested friends by double-tapping or pressing “see-all” on the friend suggestions shortlist. Last but not least, there is an update for the Compact mode in the Xbox app on Windows. Compact mode presents a clean, no-frills interface perfect for PC multitaskers who also wants to keep an eye on their Xbox activities, and the new update will allow for quick switching between friend’s view, party, message and activities alert, making it even more useful.

Compact Mode

The update doesn’t stop there, either, and there’s a whole companion set of social updates in the new preview, too.

There’s a clear theme to the update, which is the continued integration between Xbox One and the Windows 10 ecosystem through the Xbox Beta app. Microsoft’s gaming platform is evolving at a break-neck speed, and we can’t help being excited to see what the company will bring to gamers in the future. Be sure to also check out our post on all the new social features coming to the Xbox One and Xbox Beta.

Xbox Original Avatars
Xbox Original Avatars