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Xbox One’s March Update Detailed – Party and Friends Components

by Eric Frederiksen | February 25, 2014February 25, 2014 7:30 pm PDT

As much as we enjoyed the February update for the Xbox One, the March update is absolutely crucial. Titanfall is a big game, and the system needs to be ready to handle it. A large part of that is getting the social components of the console working.

Microsoft’s Larry Hryb, Director of Programming – better known by his gamertag MajorNelson, has posted a video previewing some of the upcoming features of the March update.

As tone deaf as Microsoft has come across in the last year, this video shows that they are, in fact, listening. The first thing Hryb and guest Richard Irving from Xbox’s engineering team address is party chat. Party chat is now turned on by default when you join a group.

Players will be able to invite their friends just to their party without forcing them to join their game as well, and players who aren’t in your game but are in your chat will be clearly labeled as such in the party menu. The ability to invite your party to the game is back, and accepting a party invite takes you directly to the game.

Hryb and Irving also talked about the Xbox One Friends list. System usage statistics showed that most of us were checking our Friends list rather than our Activity Feeds, so the update reduces the trip to 3 clicks or one voice command to view the Friends list.

Favorites are now more prominently featured for those of us social enough to need to sort our lists between acquaintances and BFFs. The shortcut menu accessible from the Friends list also includes options to compare games with a friend or invite them to a party directly from the Friends menu.

Also returning is the Recent Players list, which should make it easier to both connect with good teammates and report the troublesome ones. Profiles will also see some enhancements with a larger list of activities available.

This update looks to do a lot to address the biggest concerns with the current Friends system, and Irving even makes a point to say that the team is looking for more feedback.

Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...