Xbox One Preview members and users of the Xbox beta app on Windows 10 will start seeing a number of tweaks to the social aspects of the gaming console in the coming days, according to Microsoft.
The new features include small changes like being able to see who’s in a party before joining, the Gamerscore leaderboard and a clearer display of new items in the Activity Feed. The changes reflect Microsoft’s focus on gamers and fostering a gaming community, furthering moves made with the new Xbox One experience rolled out in November.
The list of updates (below) is actually pretty long and includes a few welcome surprises, like the ability to join your friends’ Twitch broadcasts right from game hubs, so you don’t have to search out your friends on the Twitch app. Microsoft is also bringing the Avatar Store to the Xbox One, so you can dress up your virtual self in some of your favorite gaming gear.
But quite a few of the improvements seem like something left out of the November update, like a better suggested friends feed, a compact mode for the Windows 10 Xbox app and the ability to access pinned games and apps when offline.
While these are rolling out to preview testers right now, they’ll likely show up for all Xbox users in the coming months. Here are all the updates from the blog post on Xbox Wire:
- See who’s in a Party: Xbox One Preview participants will be able to see who’s in a Party before joining. When you view the profile of a friend who is in a Party in the guide, you will now be able to see who else they’re playing with. Click the ‘Chat’ button which appears immediately below the user to jump in and see who is in the Party.
- Gamerscore Leaderboard: In Xbox One Preview, go to the Achievements section of your profile by clicking ‘View Achievements’ through the sign-in tab of the guide to check out the revived Gamerscore Leaderboard. Through the Gamerscore Leaderboard, see where you stand relative to your friends by comparing total gamerscore, as well as biggest gains over a rolling 30-day period. Click on the Gamerscore Leaderboard to see the full list of all your friends.
- Re-arrange Pins on Home and access them offline: Many of you have told us that you want Pins on your Xbox One Home to be easier to organize. In Preview, you will now be able to rearrange individual pins. We also made Pins accessible for launching when you are offline.
- Updating Activity Feed in Xbox One: Your activity feed in Xbox One Preview will inform you when there are new items in your feed. Clicking the link will take you to the top of your feed where you’ll see a run-down of the newest posts, so that you always have the freshest content at your fingertips.
- Joinable Twitch Broadcasts: You want it to be easier to watch your friend’s game broadcasts. In Preview, Game Hubs as well as the game tile will allow you to easily launch Twitch.tv broadcasts if friends are broadcasting.
- Improvements to Suggested Friends: Looking for people who you might know on Xbox or top content creators to follow? Check out the new Friend Suggestions area in Community and the Friends list in the Guide on Xbox One. Friend Suggestions include the gamertag, real name (if shared), gamerpic or Xbox Avatar image, and the reason the suggestion was made to you. Click through from the suggestion to view the member’s full profile and choose to grow your friends list.
- Hide games from ‘ready-to-install’ list: Fans asked that we re-enable the ability to hide content like betas, trials, games, and apps that they no longer want to install. Xbox One Preview members will be able to start using this feature again.
- Avatar Store: Equip your avatar with the latest avatar items in the newly-integrated ‘Avatar Store’. On the console, the Store is built right into the Xbox Avatars app and on Windows 10 PCs and phones, access the Store through the Xbox Avatars app. Get access to the entire catalog of new and oldie-but-goodie items, including free items. As you’re perusing catalogs, enjoy the ability to preview the items on your avatar real-time before you buy.
- Xbox News: Xbox News is a one-stop source for all the latest information about new hardware, console updates, game releases, tournaments like the Halo World Championship, breaking entertainment content, and more. This month, both Xbox Beta app and Xbox One Preview audiences will see Xbox News posts in their activity feed to make it easier to stay up to date on all things Xbox.
- Improvements to Trending: Across Xbox One Preview and Xbox Beta app experiences this month for console and Windows 10 PCs and phones, you’ll notice a new access point for Trending items to the right of the Community tab on your console and in the left menu area of the Xbox app. This gets you to a dedicated Trending landing page with the most popular topics across Xbox Live surfaced at the top followed by an inspirational assortment of top videos, screenshots, achievements, and more that members across the community have created or unlocked. Consider friending or following publishers of content that you like.
- Suggested friends: In both the Xbox One Preview and Xbox Beta app, we’re making it easier to get details on your suggested friends. Starting this month, if you click ‘see all’ or double tap on the shortlist of friend suggestions in any scenario, you will be pointed to a full-screen view of all suggested friends.
- Compact mode for Xbox App: With this update to the Xbox Beta app, we’ve moved additional functions to compact mode which will enable you to quickly switch between your friends’ view, your party, messages and activity alerts. A quick click allows you to keep an eye on what your friends are up to, while multi-tasking on your Windows PC!