Xbox in 2016: a year in review

Gigabytes of new features

A year of updates

At a finish of 2015, Microsoft pushed a vast dashboard modernise to a Xbox One in a form of a New Xbox One Experience. Over a march of a year, Microsoft has fine-tuned a new dashboard, improving a speed and adding several improvements. Just some of these embody a ability to see who’s in a celebration before joining, a Gamerscore leaderboard, improving download speeds by adult to 40%, customizing Game DVR shave length, and a ability to embody celebration discuss in Twitch broadcasts. There were dozens, maybe hundreds of small tweaks and refinements over a past year, though we also got some major new facilities that revamped a approach a console is used in general.

Universal Windows Platform (UWP) comes to Xbox One

In Summer 2016, Microsoft authorised Windows 10 UWP developers to aim a console with their apps for a initial time. While a rollout has been slow, we’ve already seen good UWP apps for vital services like Netflix and Just Eat, though also good indie apps like Theme My Xbox and Readit.

Microsoft is blurring a lines between console and PC in some-more ways than one, though it competence not be too prolonged until we get UWP Office and other apps typically compared with PC and mobile on a console.

Xbox Play Anywhere

One of a biggest facilities Microsoft forsaken on us this year was a Xbox Play Anywhere program, that grants users a permit for both a Xbox One and Windows 10 Store chronicle of a game. These games also underline swell roaming between Xbox and PC, definition we can literally play anywhere with an internet tie for information syncing.

While really few third-party developers have upheld a module so far, all destiny Microsoft Studios games will work opposite devices, including Halo Wars 2, Sea of Thieves, and State of Decay 2. Some smaller developers have also jumped on a Xbox Play Anywhere sight as it’s a really easy approach to supplement a ton of value to a game. Some of these titles embody Astroneer, Everspace, and soon, We Happy Few.

Microsoft will face a conflict to get some-more third-party developers not usually to support Xbox Play Anywhere though also a Universal Windows Platform in general. It stays to be seen either any incomparable publishers will support permit roaming between Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs in 2017, though it’s positively a constrained underline for those of us who deposit in a Xbox ecosystem.

Cortana support

Microsoft also rolled out Cortana support for Xbox One, adding healthy denunciation commands and additional capabilities to a console. You can now ask your Xbox One for continue reports, sports scores, moody details, and roughly all else Cortana is able of on Windows 10.

Sadly, however, Cortana requires internet polling to routine voice commands, that decreased a speed of simple functions like “Volume up/down” and “Go to app/game” creation a knowledge distant slower and some-more clunky. Cortana also mostly falls behind to a snapped internet hunt when she mishears you, adding additional frustration.

The conditions has softened with successive updates, though given Microsoft has thankfully given users a ability to switch behind to a bequest Xbox voice commands, I’m not certain either Cortana’s disaster to make a certain initial sense will impede her destiny on a console in general.

Clubs, Looking For Group, Arena

Microsoft combined a resources of new amicable facilities to a Xbox One this year too, including user-created Clubs, Looking for Group ads, and a ability to emanate Arena tournaments formed around rival Xbox games.

Clubs, for a initial time, concede users on Xbox Live to emanate their possess communities. Players can emanate Clubs formed around any topic, styling them as they see fit. The collection and customization facilities accessible to Clubs are a bit singular so far, however. If Microsoft wants Xbox Live to turn truly social, they need to open adult Clubs to a same sorts of facilities seen in products like Discord, including picture support, and tradition avatars.

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