During this year’s Microsoft E3 Press Conference, the company set aside time to discuss their plans for the online multiplayer service, Xbox Live. The company revealed its plans to expand community features and introduce new ways for players to connect with each other. Those with the service can expect major changes in the next year or so, as the company unveils Clubs on Xbox Live, Looking for Group, Arena, Cross-Platform Play, Cortana, and Language-Region Independence.
Clubs on Xbox Live is a new feature that allows users to create private groups and communities with other players. Groups can be created to unite players with similar play styles, personal interests and tastes, geographic location, or game-playing availability. Whether a community is game-specific or more general, it’ll be much easier for players to keep in touch with their friends on Xbox Live.
Looking for Group
Looking for Group lets players search immediately for other players to join their party. This feature will make filling out parties in online games much easier. For online games such as Destiny and The Division, this could give players more freedom to find the right match for their objectives. We are still awaiting details about the types of information players can filter their search by, but expect more details to come soon.
Arena on Xbox Live allows players with a competitive edge to jump into online tournaments, whether players are beginners or have been on the competitive scene for quite some time. Arena will be available on both Xbox One and Windows 10 devices. Players will be able to enlist in tournaments via their Xbox Dashboard or the Xbox app. Not only will winners have bragging rights, but some tournaments may offer physical prizes as well!
A big focus for Microsoft in the future is a closer connection between Xbox One and Windows 10. Upcoming games such as Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Sea of Thieves, and Scalebound will all support cross-platform play between these two platforms. Gamers who might have been on-the-fence about getting an Xbox One can now play on their PC and easily play with their friends. Expect more titles in the future to support this feature.
An Xbox Live update coming this summer will also strengthen the connection between PC and Xbox players. This update will allow players to see what PC games their friends are playing, and bring message and voice chat between these two platforms.
Cortana is coming to Xbox One. The popular digital assistant made famous in the Halo series will let players give voice commands and gaming-specific commands to make. Cortana will first launch on Xbox One in the U.S. and U.K. with additional markets coming in the future.
Language Region Independence
Lastly, Xbox Live will be receiving Language Region Independence. Language Region Independence gives users the freedom to choose any supported language on Xbox One, regardless of their location. This feature was brought based on strong fan feedback, and will give gamers more control over their Xbox Live experience and how they engage with other players.
Most of these improvements don’t have a set release date, but we will be sure to update you as soon as there is new information.