The next Xbox update is for people who don't know the sound of their friends' voices


Or, more likely, for those who talk to strangers

Xbox is less than a month removed from its latest big update, the one that reconfigured the dashboard and the guide button. Microsoft’s method in recent years for improving the Xbox One has been intermittent major updates bolstered by a steady stream of smaller changes. Next up is one of those less substantial revisions.

In a post on Xbox Wire, Microsoft outlined what’s next for Xbox One. There are two notable feature implementations. One of these is a party overlay that shows the name of the person who’s talking. This is probably more for people who are inclined to party upwith strangers (Microsoft uses the Looking for Group crowd as an example of folks who might not know everyone well enough to immediately recognize their voices). Like the new Achievement tracker, users can choose the screen position and transparency of the party overlay, allowing for personal preference as to how obtrusive this will be.

The other noteworthy inclusion is an addition to the esports-focused Arena feature. Coming soon is the ability for Club owners to start their own tournaments for Killer Instinct. Later on, World of Tanks, Halo Wars 2, and Smitewill also be added.

A smattering of other features will also be included. Verbatim from Xbox Wire’s post, they are:

  • Share your Looking for Group post on the Activity Feed or through a message.
  • Unfollow a Club or Game Hub directly from your Activity Feed.
  • Your profile will display your Arena tournament history and upcoming tournaments.
  • For Beam and Twitch broadcasts, you will now have an option in the Guide for your Kinect to locate you automatically.
  • Captive Portal support for wireless internet is coming to Xbox One, which allows for Wi-Fi authentication through a browser. Great for colleges, hotels, or public Wi-Fi locations.
  • Filter posts on your Activity Feed on the Xbox app for iOS and Android.
  • On the Xbox app for Windows 10, we’re adding the option to select the audio input and output sources for Party chat.

All of this is still in the works. Microsoft notes that those who are in the Preview program might see some changes as soon as today, with other features rolling out in the coming weeks. As for an official release, there’s no set date yet. It’ll likely come when the beta testing folks help iron out all the kinks.

Killer Instinct Tournaments and More Start Rolling Out to Insiders This Month [Xbox Wire]