Xbox Had a Few Announcements at the Windows 10 Event Too

Posted on October 27, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Windows 10, Xbox One with 16 Comments

Xbox Had a Few Announcements at the Windows 10 Event Too

Pity poor Xbox: It got lost in all the excitement around Microsoft’s controversial Surface Studio and the Windows 10 Creators Update. But there’s some cool Xbox news too.

“As part of the Windows 10 Creator’s Update, Microsoft introduced more Windows 10 features designed for gamers that offer more ways to connect, compete and play together on Xbox Live – the fastest and most reliable gaming network,” a Microsoft representative told me.

Beam integration

Platform support: Windows 10 and Xbox One

A Twitch competitor, Beam lets you watch live game streams and interact with those broadcasting their games. But it also lets you become a broadcast, hence this feature’s appearance at the Creators event. Beam support is being built into Windows 10 with the Creators Update, and into Xbox One. On Windows 10, you will be able to display the Game Bar, click the Beam button, and then share your gameplay in real time–i.e broadcast it—either with a couple of friends or a massive audience. That’s really neat.

Gamer-created tournaments on Arena

Platform support: Windows 10 and Xbox One

Arena is Microsoft’s new eSports play, and like Beam, the advantage here is that Microsoft is making this capability broadly available to anyone on Windows 10 or Xbox. At the event this week, Microsoft announced gamer-generated tournaments for Arena on Xbox Live, meaning that anyone can configure their own tournament style, invited friends, and so on across devices.

Bitstream audio pass-through

Platform support: Xbox One

In a coming update, Xbox One will gain bitstream audio pass-through, including Dolby Atmos. It’s not clear yet if this is only for Blu-ray discs, but it appears so.

Also, I spoke with Terry Myerson after the event and he suggested that whatever Xbox update or updates that do ship around the Creators Update time frame will not necessarily be related to that update, and will most certainly not be called the Creators Update. This is a bit of a departure from Xbox’s update schedule in 2016, which included a number of platform and functional features from both Windows 10 1511 and 1607. Though, of course, Xbox didn’t use the Anniversary Update naming convention either.


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Comments (20)

20 responses to “Xbox Had a Few Announcements at the Windows 10 Event Too”

  1. 7260

    I get that you have questions about the Surface Studio.  But calling it controversial? 

    Why is it controversial?  Because you or some other media type says it is?  If that is the case, then anything a tech company produces is controversial.  Why is it controversial that Microsoft wants to produce a state of the art product for its constumers, even if the market may be niche?  Why is it controiversial that Microsoft wants to innovate in new ways or produce new product categories?  Why is it controversial that Microsoft wants to push the tech envelop and have its OEMs dream big?  Isn't that what a innovative technology leading company does? 

    Labeling the Studio as risky, or potentially only a niche product I get.  But not controversial.  This product shows Microsoft is willing to push boundaries.  It may well provide, even if a niche product, a halo effect.  All good things.

    Mark from CO

    • 5554

      In reply to Mark from CO:

      Are you a Microsoft employee? Why so defensive? Paul's giving an opinion. 

      • 7260

        In reply to PeteB:

        No I'm not.  And if you are a regular, you know I have been very critical of Microsoft.  Paul has been critical of many aspects of Microsoft, justifiably.  But to use the word controversial to describe something that reflects Microsoft being inovative is wrong.  Words do matter.

        Mark from CO

    • 821

      In reply to Mark from CO:

      If a product is risky and targeting a niche market, isn't that a justified reason for there to be controversy around it and whether or not it makes sense for it to exist in the first place? I thought "controversial" applied there. Obviously not in the sense that this is going to murder innocent puppies, but by your concessions, I think it fits.

    • 5530

      In reply to Mark from CO:

      Great points, Mark. Controversial is not the word to use, convtroversial might have been the word to use describe when Surface RT launched, but we all know Surface's strategy of today is vastly different from back then. The only controversial thing about the the Surface Studio is perhaps the pricing, which, again, we all know is marked up on purpose so that OEMs don't get into a pissing contest with Microsoft again.

  2. 2175

    I like these additions to windows. The gamer in me loves this stuff

  3. 5802

    Bitstream audio!!!! Woohoo!

  4. 1519

    This is great but I am concerned about the quality of these streams.  All I see on Twitch is "Brahs" coming up with new ways to use the "F" bomb

  5. 1389

    Didn't they explicitly say during the presentation that there will be a Creative Update for the Xbox One?   Specifically promising the Blu-ray Dolby Atmos to be delivered in the Creative Update for Xbox One.    Seems they still have a messaging problem around whether Xbox One really is part of the Windows 10 universal platform, or the Xbox team is unwilling to assimilate fully.



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