Microsoft Details Upcoming Xbox One Party System Update


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Today Microsoft's Xbox One console is getting a large update, one of two coming within the next month. Today's update includes support for storage management, allowing Xbox One owners to see and adjust exactly what is on their 500GB hard drive.

The second update, coming on March 4, is set to fix the Xbox One party system. The feature set is one of the most important for the multiplayer games that are so popular on Xbox consoles, but has been a mess since the Xbox One launched back in November. Today Microsoft outlined its plans for the Xbox One party system, giving players a preview of what they can expect in the week leading up to the much-hyped launch of Titanfall.

For the most part the updates to the party system will implement features that are already mainstays on the Xbox 360 console. In fact, some of the planned updates are simply baffling in their current absence.

Party chat will now be separate from in-game chat and chat audio will be turned on by default when a party is created. A list of recent players will also be available, allowing Xbox One owners to see who they've played online with recently. The option to invite friends to a multiplayer session will, following the update, be an option to all Xbox One multiplayer titles.

Changes will also be coming to Xbox One friends lists, which will now be located closer to the console's home page. A console's friends list will be accessible through the "social tile" on the Xbox One home page and the list will also be displayed prominently in the "Friends app." Players will also, of course, be able to call up the list with a voice command ("Xbox, go to friends").

That Microsoft is bringing these significant updates just one week before the launch of Titanfall shows just how important Microsoft believes Titanfall is for the Xbox One's success. With the title delayed to late March for the Xbox 360, a good showing on the Xbox One will be essential for Titanfall's success - and a working party system is a baseline for a good console multiplayer experience.