It’s no secret that the Xbox One launched without all of the functionality that Microsoft had envisioned for the new age of console gaming and home entertainment. The company surveyed users early and often and started rolling out a series of monthly software updates to constantly improve the console. Thanks to these frequent updates, the console earned the Product of the Year award in 2014. Nearly one and a half years later, the updates are still arriving on a regular basis.
Many of the early complaints about the Xbox One had to do with the console’s voice chat capabilities. The tool had some strange limitations and restrictions at launch, but the developers have been making constant strides to optimize the console’s social capabilities.
The May software update’s beta has arrived and the new patch addresses one of the remaining issues with voice chat. In addition to fixing a few minor bugs, the new update will allow users more multitasking capabilities with the option to leave voice messages while in a party. The details are explained in the patch notes:
OS version released: xb_rel_1505.150416-2000
Available: 12:00PM PT 4/19 (8PM GMT 19/4)
Voice Messages while in a Party. With this update, you can now leave voice messages while in a Party. Previously, you had to leave a Party to leave a voice message.
US/CA USB TV Tuner Channel Scanning. We received reports that the US/CA Digital TV Tuner would not correctly scan for channels. This has been resolved in this update.
Party app Voice Commands (initial screen only). When launching the Party app, voice commands will not function on the Party app’s first menu screen (ie. saying “Xbox Select”, followed by “Start a party” or “Learn more”).
Dashboard preview members should now be able to test out the new features, including the voice messages while in a party (which will be great to have up and working before Halo 5 and Star Wars Battlefront later this year) and the improved TV channel scanning. If other Xbox One owners want to test out the new features, they will need to attempt to find an existing preview member and ask them for an invite to the limited beta. Otherwise, players can wait until the patch officially drops in a few weeks.
The May Dashboard updates may seem fairly insignificant so far, but the voice messaging improvement will be very convenient for the more social Xbox One users. The patch definitely doesn’t introduce any major changes, but it is another solid example of Microsoft’s desire to constantly improve the Xbox One user experience. By releasing consistent patches, rather than sporadic sweeping changes, users aren’t interrupted by intrusive updates that have a higher potential for bugs and leave them with a lot of new tools and features to learn all at once.
What do you think of the new features? What feature is the Xbox One missing that you would like to see the team patch next? Let us know in the comments.