Microsoft announced today that it has delivered the so-called Xbox Holiday Update. But this isn’t an Xbox One system update. Instead, it’s an update that spans the entire Xbox ecosystem, including Xbox Live, the Xbox One console, and the Xbox app on Android, iOS, Windows 10, and Windows 10 Mobile.
“With this holiday update, Xbox Live becomes even more social as we unite gamers across devices, giving you access to more people to play with that share your interests and more choice in how you play,” Microsoft’s Scott Henson explains. “The update also builds upon our vision to foster a welcoming experience on Xbox Live where everyone is included, respected, and supported. The updates start to hit Xbox One consoles and the Xbox app starting today.”
Is anyone else getting tired of these update names? No? OK, moving on.
As Microsoft notes, all of the features being delivered today have been in testing with the newly-rebranded Xbox Insider Program for the past few months. They include:
Clubs. This Xbox Live feature lets gamers create and manage “communities of gamers who love the same things you do.” Club members can set up parties, play games, share content, and communicate with voice or text across Xbox One and the cross-platform Xbox app. You can search for clubs, or create your own, in the Communities area of the Xbox One Dashboard, or in the Clubs view elsewhere.
Looking for Groups. This Xbox Live feature helps you quickly find other players that you will want to game with. As Microsoft notes, it’s sort of a gaming “want-ad” that goes out publicly to the Xbox community. And it can be used to help you complete daily quests or win Achievements that are easier (or only possible) with other people. Because this is a confusing feature, Microsoft has created a nice LFG tutorial video.
Rare achievements. Billed as a top fan request, Xbox now acknowledges rare achievements with a special special animated notification and a diamond icon.
Group Messaging. This new Xbox Live feature lets send a single group message to everyone in a single conversation. You can later add people to the group and change the conversation topic. Group messaging works on Xbox One and the cross-platform Xbox app, and it features a new predictive dictionary that is accessible viat the controller’s right thumb stick on Xbox One and Windows 10 for PCs.
Gamerscore leaderboard improvements. The Gamerscore leaderboard on Xbox One and the cross-platform Xbox app now resets at the beginning of each month instead of on a 30-day rolling period. It’s available via the Achievements tab in your profile.
Emoji support. Xbox One users can now access emojis via the virtual keyboard. You access these emojis by pressing the left trigger until they show up, Microsoft says. I hope never to see this feature.
Tagged with Xbox Live Gold