Xbox One has been steadily pushing through new features since its launch in 2013, and the next round of updates looks to further synergize the experience for those who like the backward compatibility functionality the console added last year. The update, which is hitting for members of the Xbox One Preview Program today, is adding some highly requested features.

One of the biggest additions to this update is the ability to purchase Xbox 360 games that have been enabled for backward compatibility with Xbox One in the Xbox One game store. Previously, players who wanted to buy an Xbox 360 game that worked with Xbox One had to do so either on the Xbox 360 itself or through a web browser. Now, a separate section of the Xbox One still will display, showing Xbox 360 games that are able to be run on Xbox One.

Parties on Xbox Live are also getting a boost up to 16 people, which is another step up from the 12-person parties Xbox One has featured since last fall. This is also being added to the Xbox app on mobile devices.

New party chat settings will also be arriving on Xbox One, as players will be able to opt to output party chat to your headset and speakers simultaneously. In addition, if you’re in a party and streaming using the Twitch app, you'll be able to broadcast your party chat over the stream. To this point, players streaming while in a party have only been able to broadcast their side of the conversation. Players in the party must accept an invitation to have their voice sent over the stream.

Since launch, saying “Xbox Record That” or hitting the “Record That” button on the system menu has recorded a game clip of a fixed length. That length is currently set at 30 seconds, but with the new update, players can specify how long they want Game DVR to record. The options available to players will be 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes. If players decide to record longer clips, they can still trim and edit the recorded gameplay to be the length they desire.

Accessing your achievements in-game is becoming quicker, as it is being added to the Xbox One guide sidebar. Located between the party and messages icon when you bring up the guide sidebar menu, the new achievements submenu allows you to view and track your achievements on the current game without having to load the achievements app.

The social aspect of Xbox One is also getting a few new additions, as videos will now be playable directly from the social feed and Xbox 360 achievement are now enabled to appear in Xbox One, Xbox app, and Windows 10 PC activity feeds.

Other changes include the ability to jump directly from game hubs to URL link and YouTube videos, compare your avatar with friends’ avatars, and a new reputation rating system that only displays reputation remarks for a player if they have been rated poorly. These updates are scheduled to come to Preview members on Xbox One today and Xbox app beta testers starting tomorrow.


Our Take
While Xbox One certainly still has its share of problems major updates like this one show that the company is working diligently to solve the issues. Things like being able to purchase Xbox 360 games directly from the Xbox One store or being able to integrate party chat into Twitch streams are things that will make the Xbox One experience a more enjoyable one. Upping the party size to 16 could be a risky move with how troubled the party system on Xbox One has been since it launched, but it has made marked improvements over the past several months. There are still several things that Xbox One could stand to improve on, but the company is showing the initiative.