Xbox One's big update for March released: New features explained
Microsoft started to rollout the March update to Xbox One users on Tuesday, bringing several enhancements with it ahead of the Titanfall release on 11 March.
Most notably, Twitch live streaming integration will be found on the next-generation console on 11 March, allowing gamers to stream content to friends and fans. This is a feature PlayStation 4 users have been enjoying for quite some time, and Tuesday's Xbox One update prepares the console for the technology.
Also on the software side, Microsoft has made the friends list front and centre on the homepage of the Friends app for you to become more social. Party chat has also improved, so when you party up chat audio is enabled by default. You can now chat with friends playing different games, and an “invite friends to game” option is available in your multiplayer titles like on Xbox 360.
Also like the Xbox 360, you can see a list of “Recent Players” on the Xbox One. It's a list that shows Xbox Live members you’ve recently played, making it easier to stay in touch with people, add new friends after your multiplayer sessions, or report a player for trolling.
Sound is also getting an upgrade, with optical-out now supporting 5.1 Dolby Digital, enabling devices such as sound bars and headsets with only optical-in to receive 5.1 Dolby Digital from Xbox One over optical. Dolby Digital surround sound over HDMI has also been added, along with 50Hz output to Xbox One from your cable box for crisper live streams.
Furthermore, volume up/down adjustments have been brought to Xbox One voice commands, now letting you tailor the number of volume increments you see when using “Xbox volume up” or “Xbox volume down” phrases.
As expected you'll see support for the new Xbox One accessories, including the Xbox One Stereo Headset and Adapter, the Xbox One Media Remote with a dedicated OneGuide button, as well as third-party headsets. Lastly, you'll see browser improvements, including better search, and new gesture and controller features that let you directly zoom and pan Bing and Google Maps.
Microsoft centred the update around user feedback and getting the console ready for Titanfall on 11 March.
"We have received lots of feedback since the launch of Xbox One in November and listening closely to you," Marc Whitten, chief product officer at Xbox, said. "I’m excited to share that our second, and most significant, system update for Xbox One is starting to roll out today and includes improved matchmaking, party chat and friends features that will make gaming on Xbox One an experience like no other.
"To me that means playing games like Titanfall on the best multiplayer service on the planet, using a new headset or the one you already own, while live broadcasting your games on Twitch."
Read: Titanfall preview