This Month's Xbox One Console Update Changes At Least 15 Things

This Month's Xbox One Console Update Changes At Least 15 Things

The March firmware update for the Xbox One will do a lot more than improve party chat in advance of the launch of the system's big multiplayer March 11 game Titanfall. It'll also tweak a bunch of other things on the console.

Microsoft officials were kind enough to provide us with a list. We've numbered it for you and added some explanations and thoughts.

Note that some on the Kotaku team were able to start downloading this update early, but we've not had much time to test it. The download was about 400MB. It should be available for system owners this week or, at latest, very early next week.

  1. "Get to your friends list faster." Microsoft says you can now access your friends list from the homepage of the Friends app and can use a Social tile on the system's Home screen — or say "Xbox, go to friends" to see who is online.
  2. "Party chat on by default." Removing one of the stranger decisions Microsoft had made at launch, you will no longer have to manually turn on party chat after you join a party.
  3. "Chat with friends playing different games." Self-explanatory.
  4. "'Invite friends to game' option available in your multiplayer titles." File this under: they didn't have this already?
  5. "See a list of 'Recent Players.'" Very nice. You can easily re-connect with, friend or even report people you just played with through this list.
  6. "Twitch TV live streaming support." As previously-announced . Good stuff. Timed to the March 11 launch of a new Twitch app.
  7. "Dolby Digital sound." So technical, so let's just quote them on this one and hope it makes Kotaku audiophile Kirk Hamilton happy: "Optical out now supports 5.1 Dolby Digital, enabling devices such as sound bars and headsets with only optical in to be able to receive 5.1 Dolby Digital from Xbox One over optical. We're also adding support for Dolby Digital surround sound over HDMI. Now you'll be able to have the best sound quality no matter what speaker setup you are using. "
  8. "We will now support 50Hz output to Xbox One." This should mainly be of benefit to Europeans, they say.
  9. "Volume up/down adjustments." This is the first of some of the less noticeable changes Microsoft is now describing. This one lets you adjust how much your volume goes up or down each time you say "Xbox, volume up" or "Xbox, volume down."
  10. "New ways to stay connected with SmartGlass." The second-screen SmartGlass app made for phones and tablets will receive Xbox Live messages (no indication that you can send them) and will let you watch friends' gameplay clips. They're also saying you can tap SmartGlass to unsnap an app on your TV.
  11. "Support for new Xbox One accessories." They say: "Xbox One now supports the recently announced Xbox One stereo headset and adaptor, Xbox One media remote with a dedicated OneGuide button, as well as third party headsets."
  12. "Browser improvements." They say: "When you're searching for content, there's now a direct link to IE to see related results on the web. New gesture and controller features let you directly zoom and pan Bing and Google maps. And search is even faster in IE — just highlight a phrase on a web page, and press the menu button to search Bing and learn more. "
  13. "IR blasting of power and volume to TVs/AVRs is now available in all regions."
  14. "Easy sound bar setup." They're removing the need to type in model numbers for "most sound bars or AVRs" while hooking them up to the console.
  15. "General improvements. Last, but not least, a few miscellaneous update the ability to view Game Clips while in Snap mode and a new passkey feature to protect user settings.

OK, that's a lot. What would you all like to see in the next update? Other than "play all my Xbox 360 games" which probably isn't going to be easy to do!


Comments

    I'd like to see portable HDD support for saving games and media playback. The 360 had this, I don't understand why this feature was lost in the 'next' generation.

      Because the OS was rushed and rehacked to get out in time. It is coming to the Xbox One tho.

    Most voice commands now work in Australia too, but although the "Xbox On" option is there, it doesn't seem to work for aussies. Works fine if you set the console region to USA annoyingly.

    I just want them to scrap this whole following system, and go back to a friends system where you are notified of requests, instead of having to trawl your followers for new ones.

      Yeah. I'd love them to ditch the entire social media focus, start from scratch with something IM/invite centric and then expand on it to include all their new ideas. Social media is about broadcasting to wide audiences, which has it's uses, but communication in gaming is about direct interaction either one on one or in small groups.
      Seeing what my friends are up to is sort of cool I guess, but the XBOX One seems to think my friends list is a list of people I want to watch rather than a list of people I want to talk to one on one or play games with. Right now the XBOX One is a bit like a phone can tweet and post to Facebook out of the box, but can't make a call, e-mail or send a SMS without a third party app.

      I think it's the side effect of all this majorly forced innovation. Since the Wii there's been so much pressure to 'innovate' every single aspect of everything, even though historically the least innovative consoles have thrived, so they got swept up trying to reinvent the way we interact with our friends on our consoles without realising that the XBOX 360 pretty much perfected it.

        I honestly bought the Xbox One because the 360 crapped on the PS3 for social, and while it sucked for media, the One took care of that. Then they crapped on the social aspect by making it the twitter of gaming, while Sony took lead from the 360 and improved on it.

      I am in NSW Australia and for those of you that say that the xbox on command does not work here .. well it does. You have to be saying it as one word like this "xboxon"
      If you say it like this "xbox"...."on" ( the way you have to command the xbox one when you are in the menu systems ) it will NEVER work. I have a bad back and a tailbone problem so Im very keen on OHS and sitting properly and being the correct distance from my PC monitors. I have my Kinect on top of both my monitors and I do not speak loud either. Also you do not have to say it like this "xboxon just say it the way you would when you say mobile phone and it will turn on .....well it should.....mine does. PS I also have my system settings set to English/Australia and my time zone is UTC+10:00 Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and yes it still works.

      Remember ... do not have a pause between xbox and on .... its one word "xboxon"

    Can I listen to a custom soundtrack without having a music bar ‘snapped’ over one side of my screen?

    Can I play an mp3 off a USB yet?

    Great steps, but still a lot of basic functionality that needs to be fixed.

    Xbox, volume up!
    Xbox, volume up!
    Xbox, volume up!
    Xbox, volume up!
    Xbox, volume up!
    Xbox, volume up!
    Xbox, volume up!
    Xbox, volume down!
    So convenient!

      Xbox mute / unmute is fantastic though.

        is this a command? does it work with games?

          As long as you have programmed your AV equipment or TV remote code into the Xbox, then it will work. Better than scrambling around for a remote when your phone rings or you have to talk to someone.

            Interesting, I might have to look into that, I dont use the Xbox TV feature at all.

              You can set it to turn the TV on and off with the console too, but if you use different AV equipment that could be annoying and turn the TV off when you turn the console on if it's already on. Personally I use the console for everything except TV, which I run through the HDMI in port, so I'm happy to have it turn my TV on and off.

    I thought number 7 would be one of the things you'd have on day 1.

    i dont want it to play all my 360 games.
    just south park.
    i really dont want to have to rearrange everything in my tv cabinet just to play it

    Congratulations Microsoft, you've almost very nearly released an Xbox 360. Now when can we get to the "next gen"?

    Xboxone didnt have dolby digital? Like for real it didnt? Ps2 could at least do it with dvds and prologic for games.

      it had DTS via optical and uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 via hdmi

        Ahh k, cool. Though having it through optical is a bonus for me if I decide to end up buying one.

          DTS is as good as if not better than Dolby, still projects 5.1 via optical.

    the snap feature sucks, controlling by voice sucks. why not make a video game console that plays games first and foremost. Also, PLEASE revamp the os and gear it more towards playing games instead of social media. thank you and have a great day.

    The downloads take way to long. Everytime i buy a new game it take about an hour until i can play. I dont know about you but when i get a new game i want to play it asap. MAKE DOWNLOADS QUICKER

    Hi all, Just in case you did not see my reply to a fellow gamer this is what I said about the xbox on command and how it actually does wok in Australia: here is what I said -

    I am in NSW Australia and for those of you that say that the xbox on command does not work here .. well it does. You have to be saying it as one word like this "xboxon"
    If you say it like this "xbox"...."on" ( the way you have to command the xbox one when you are in the menu systems ) it will NEVER work. I have a bad back and a tailbone problem so Im very keen on OHS and sitting properly and being the correct distance from my PC monitors. I have my Kinect on top of both my monitors and I do not speak loud either. Also you do not have to say it like this "xboxon just say it the way you would when you say mobile phone and it will turn on .....well it should.....mine does. PS I also have my system settings set to English/Australia and my time zone is UTC+10:00 Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and yes it still works.

    Remember ... do not have a pause between xbox and on .... its one word "xboxon"

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