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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