With only a few more months until the Xbox One hits store shelves, Microsoft has decided it is high time to start further fleshing out details about their next-gen console. So far they’ve shown gamers what’s in the Xbox One box, closely detailed the new controller, and even outlined some interesting new features.
In addition to these big picture reveals, Microsoft has also been answering questions about the smaller stuff — features that might not be worth a full announcement, but are important nonetheless. Earlier today, they clarified how game chat will work across current and next-gen consoles.
As Chief Xbox One Platform Architect Marc Whitten explains, cross-console party chat will not work for a “variety of technical reasons.” Although gamers will ostensibly be subscribed to the same Xbox Live service, there are key differences between each console’s architecture, most notably sound quality, that prevent party chat.
That being said, gamers can still send text messages from one console to the other, so that’s a win. On the Xbox One, gamers will have an unlimited number of friends at their disposal, both Xbox One and Xbox 360 users, and they can send messages to any of them.
Additionally, gamers on Xbox 360 and Xbox One will be able to see what their friends are doing. So, if you’re looking at your Xbox 360 friends list, you can see what Xbox One game (Dead Rising 3, for example) your friend is playing.
It’s important to note, however, that while on an Xbox 360, gamers will only be able to see the 100 friends that have accepted an Xbox 360 friend request from them. It’s a little inconvenient, but clearly Microsoft is restricted by the 100-friend limit of the 360.
Yes, Microsoft has been reversing a few of their more contentious policies as of late — self-publishing, Kinect requirements, used games — but they are also answering questions as honestly as possible. Whether or not the answers will change gamers’ minds about picking up the console is yet to be determined.
Are you disappointed to learn you can’t party chat with Xbox 360 players on your Xbox One? Do you think this is an important feature for the next-gen console?
The Xbox One is out this November for $499.