The next generation is creeping up on us ever so quickly. It seems that only a little while ago, the press and fans alike were wondering what the new consoles would look like – and the features that they would include. Fast forward through major fall-outs over DRM policies, not so subtle public shamings, policy reversals and launch libraries being announced, the gaming community is just a month away from actually playing with the next gen. (Well, if you pre-ordered early enough.)
Just to whet the appetite of those who ended up putting their money down for the Xbox One, a video and information further detailing the social features of the console has been released over on Major Nelson’s blog. In the video, Microsoft’s Director of Programming for Xbox Live Larry Hryb, otherwise known as Major Nelson, walks through the revamped Friends app. On top of that he also covers exactly how the community works.
The app works like a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook, keeping track of player’s gaming achievements as well as their other activity on a wall. Users will get updates about which games thier friends have just started, which videos they have uploaded and other general activity. The UI matches the rest of the Xbox One’s tile based interface and looks like a sleek and minimalist design allowing users to keep up with what their friends have been up to.
On top of that, gamers can now follow certain people to see what they are doing as Hryb describes:
“Xbox One allows you to share the latest in games and entertainment with fellow gamers, friends and family, or even celebrities and gaming personalities by following people. For example, on Xbox One you can search for me by my gamertag and follow me to see what I share publicly, such as my latest game scores and achievements.”
Hryb also outlined some plans to add to the achievement system with Xbox Live. While there will be achievements as normal, there will also be “challenges.” These work as group events, where a developer sets a goal for the community to achieve and players are rewarded for their input to each of those ‘challenges.’
“Imagine, for example, a game releases a weekend objective that requires players to cumulatively secure an objective “X” number of times in a three day period. And every person who participates and helps build towards the challenge’s goals unlocks that Achievement and earns its reward.”
It is clear that the Xbox One was designed with community ingrained into the system, allowing friends to connect in different ways and keep up with each. The Xbox 360‘s social features are pretty rudimentary now, having been implemented before Facebook was all encompassing and Twitter came to prominence. These new social features seem to be bringing together a lot of ideas from both to try and improve the community. It is not long now until we find out if it actually does. Hopefully these features can withstand the test of time a little better.
The Xbox One will be available November 22, 2013.
Source: Major Nelson Blog