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Microsoft begins rolling out Xbox One March system update

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Posted on March 5, 2014 AT 03:02am

Microsoft has started rolling out its massive March update for Xbox One that improves the console’s party system, matchmaking, and friends list.

Changes include having party chat on by default, being able to access the friends list faster, an “Invite friends to game” option being added, the “Recent Players” making a comeback, support for Twitch streaming, and more.

“We have received lots of feedback since the launch of Xbox One in November and listening closely to you. 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,” Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, wrote.

You can check out the full list of changes below:

  • Get to your friends list faster. The friends list is now front and center on the homepage of the Friends app. Click the Social tile on Home, or say “Xbox, go to Friends” to see who’s online and what they’re up to. From there you can quickly send messages and get into a party.
  • Party chat on by default. When you party up, chat audio is turned on by default.
  • Chat with friends playing different games. Party chat is now separated from people playing your game, so you can chat with your friends who are online or you can chat with everyone playing the game.
  • “Invite friends to game” option available in your multiplayer titles. Similar to Xbox 360 titles, when you’re inside a game’s menu you have a simpler and quicker way to set up your multiplayer battles. Selecting “Invite friends” lets you invite friends to your game and party.
  • See a list of “Recent Players.” This is a simple list that shows you Xbox Live members you’ve recently played with, making it easier to stay in touch with people, add new friends after your multiplayer sessions, or report a player for bad behavior.
  • Twitch live streaming support. The best broadcasting and spectating experience on any game console is on its way to Xbox One with the new Twitch app launching on March 11, just say “Xbox broadcast” to start sharing.  Xbox One is the only next-gen console that allows you to archive your Twitch broadcasts and view live Twitch streams regardless of their original source.
  • Dolby Digital sound. Optical out now supports 5.1 Dolby Digital, enabling devices such as sound bars and headsets with only optical in to be able to receive 5.1 Dolby Digital from Xbox One over optical. We’re also adding support for Dolby Digital surround sound over HDMI. Now you’ll be able to have the best sound quality no matter what speaker setup you are using.
  • We will now support 50Hz output to Xbox One. You can set the live TV app to display at 50Hz for full or fill modes, fixing the frame rate issues some users in Europe have been experiencing while watching live TV on Xbox One.
  • Volume up/down adjustments. We’re making it easier to adjust the volume on your Xbox One. Now, you can tailor the number of volume increments when using “Xbox volume up” or “Xbox volume down” voice commands.
  • New ways to stay connected with SmartGlass. We’re introducing new ways for you to stay connected with your friends through Xbox One SmartGlass. Receive notifications of Xbox Live messages, check out what your friends are doing, and see their latest highlight clips. You can even unsnap apps with the tap of a finger – all from your personal device.
  • Support for new Xbox One accessories. Xbox One now supports the recently announced Xbox One Stereo Headset and Adapter, the Xbox One Media Remote with a dedicated OneGuide button, as well as third party headsets.
  • Browser improvements. When you’re searching for content, there’s now a direct link to IE to see related results on the web. New gesture and controller features let you directly zoom and pan Bing and Google maps.  And search is even faster in IE – just highlight a phrase on a web page and press the menu button to search Bing and learn more.
  • IR blasting of power and volume to TVs/AVRs is now available in all regions.
  • Easy sound bar setup. Your audio sound bar set up just got a lot easier. You no longer need to type in the model number for most sound bars or AVRs when setting up TV on Xbox One.
  • General improvements. Last, but not least, a few miscellaneous updates like the ability to view Game Clips while in Snap mode and a new passkey feature to protect user settings.
Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at EGMNOW.com. He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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