We got a hint of what we’d be seeing with the April Xbox One system update earlier this week, but now we have a better idea of what we can look forward to, and a lot of it has to do with voice communication.
Once the update lands, Xbox One owners will finally be able to send voice messages not only to each other, but to Xbox 360 users as well.
The biggest enhancement, though, comes to party chat. Not only will there be a new troubleshooting guide to help you get your chat working – turn on your mic, broseph – but chat will be assisted by dedicated servers, as well.
It turns out that getting chat working across a variety of Internet connections, firewall brands, and user types is really tough. So Microsoft went around the problem in what looks to be a clever use of some of its massive collection of servers. Party chat will still default to the standard peer-to-peer style of chat to start with. If that doesn’t work, though, party chat will automatically load the party members off to dedicated servers that will do the work of connecting the players regardless of their connection type. The effect on users will be almost invisible, but it should make one of the most frustrating parts of Xbox Live work seamlessly.
Improvements to achievements and game hubs are coming as well, and the team continues to work on a feature they’ve shown before called What’s On that tries to recommend content like YouTube and Twitch videos based on what you’re playing and doing on your Xbox One.
These updates are rolling out to preview members already and will be hitting the greater Xbox One population sometime in April.