Microsoft to Beta Test Xbox One Party System UpdateBy: Sean Patterson - February 20, 2014
Last week Microsoft rolled out its first major Xbox One update since the console’s launch. The update included near-essential features for the console’s OS that simply didn’t make it into the system by launch day, such as hard drive storage management and an on-screen battery indicator for controllers.
Microsoft is promising an even more significant update will be coming on March 4, and now the company has announced that it will be beta testing the update on select Xbox One consoles. The company will be sending some Xbox Live subscribers a preview build of the update.
The testing will begin next week, and Xbox Live subscribers chosen for the beta will receive a n invitation via an Xbox Live message. The message will contain a “token” needed to register to preview the update early. Microsoft is hoping that those gamers testing out the update will help out with feedback on the changes via a private forum set up for the test.
The March update – the one previewed in this beta test – is meant to fix the Xbox One’s largely broken multiplayer party system. The update will bring changes to the console’s friends list and the specifics of party interaction. New multiplayer parties will have chat audio (which will be separated from in-game audio) turned on by default. Players will also be able to invite friends to multiplayer game sessions in any Xbox One multiplayer title following the update.
The party system fix is coming just in time for Microsoft, rolling out exactly one week before the release of Titanfall. Microsoft is leaning heavily on Titanfall to drive sales of Xbox One consoles, which have begun to fall behind those of Sony’s PlayStation 4.