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article imageMicrosoft rolls out Xbox One update with built-in game streaming

By James Walker     Mar 29, 2017 in Technology
Microsoft has commenced the roll out of a major Xbox One update including an array of new features to accompany the Windows 10 Creators Update. The company is debuting a refreshed look and feel for the console and integrated game streaming support.
Microsoft first announced most of the features back in January when it unveiled them in preview form. Today, the update is going global, hitting the stable channel and becoming available to every Xbox owner.
Microsoft made the announcement as it revealed the release date of the Windows 10 Creators Update. The Xbox is getting its own version of the update, albeit without the "Creators" branding. It includes the new Windows 10 gaming functions as well as several significant console-exclusive capabilities.
Home & Guide
Microsoft has revamped areas of the Xbox One's core interface to improve the console's performance. It has redesigned the layout of the home screen to show more content at once while emphasising community material such as screenshots and activity updates. Game icon sizes have been reduced to put this content first. There's also new dedicated sections for Clubs, Looking for Group posts and achievement collections.
Xbox One Creators Update Insider Preview 23-01-2017
Xbox One Creators Update Insider Preview 23-01-2017
Microsoft
Similarly, the Guide menu has been overhauled with a simplified design. It can be opened with a single press of the Xbox controller and appears as a condensed overlay on the left of the screen. The new Guide features a tabbed interface that speeds up the process of finding and selecting an option. Microsoft has foregrounded media creation features for screenshots and video recording to make them easier to access mid-game.
Stream with Beam
As with Windows 10, the Xbox One now includes native integration with Beam, the popular game streaming service recently acquired by Microsoft. With Beam included in the console's software, you can start broadcasting your gameplay to friends directly from the Xbox Guide. No extra devices or software are required.
Windows 10 Creators Update - new gaming features will improve performance and social sharing
Windows 10 Creators Update - new gaming features will improve performance and social sharing
Microsoft
The current Beam integration includes options for interacting with viewers and settings for the stream camera resolution. Accompanying the broadcasting features is a new preinstalled Beam viewing app, letting you watch others play from your console. It's available in the My Games and Apps section of the Xbox.
Multitasking with Cortana
Accompanying the main features are several smaller ones which combine for an overall improved experience. Multitasking has been overhauled and the Xbox's old dual-app Snap view removed. To reduce the need to use two apps at once, Cortana has been expanded with new voice commands that let you configure Parties, control media playback and set reminders. You can keep playing while Cortana responds to your command.
Xbox One Creators Update Insider Preview 23-01-2017
Xbox One Creators Update Insider Preview 23-01-2017
Microsoft
Microsoft has also added new accessibility options for people who require specialist control setups. Copilot mode lets two controllers be combined as one which could be useful for gamers who aren't able to play with the regular configuration. It also serves as a handy teaching aid for new gamers, letting an established player or parent guide another user through tricky sections of titles.
Making Gaming More Creative
The Xbox updates complement the new features being added to Windows 10 next month. Microsoft noted the two are meant to go together, reflecting its new Xbox vision which sees PC and console gamers treated as equals. The company is also expanding its Xbox Play Anywhere program to include more titles, letting you buy games once and play them on your PC and console. Achievements and saves sync seamlessly between devices.
Xbox One Creators Update Insider Preview 23-01-2017
Xbox One Creators Update Insider Preview 23-01-2017
Microsoft
Microsoft pledged that more features are on the way for both Windows and Xbox gamers. Many of the improvements in the new console update were created as direct responses to customer feedback. In particular, the performance enhancements address one of the major criticisms of the current Xbox One interface.
"As we’ve said, this is just the beginning – be on the lookout for more great features," said Microsoft. "The team has worked hard and we hope you enjoy the updates to your Xbox One experience!"
The update is rolling out now to Xbox One consoles worldwide. It may take a while to reach every device. Windows 10 users will receive the Creators Update on April 11.
More about Xbox, xbox one, Windows, windows 10, windows 10 creators update
 
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