Xbox One April Update Adds Voice Messaging, Dedicated Servers For Party Chat

The second wave of the preview to the April system update for Xbox One went live Thursday evening. Microsoft revealed even more voice chat improvements starting with the ability to send voice messages between the Xbox One and Xbox 360, plus dedicated service for party chat.

Voice messages were a long-standing feature on the Xbox 360, but oddly missing for the Xbox One. As a result, it was one of the top requested changes to be requested from the Xbox Feedback site. The ability to send voice messages to other Xbox One users is being added with the April update and Microsoft is taking it a step further by allowing Xbox One users and Xbox 360 users to send voice messages back and forth as well.

Party Chat doesn’t work for everyone due to various networking issues like a strict NAT setting. This prevented the peer-to-peer connection required for participating. Microsoft is changing that with the April Xbox One update so that players will automatically fall back to dedicated servers if they have networking issues.

Preview members in the United States should be familiar with the “What’s On” section on the Xbox One dashboard. This area highlights popular games, clips, movies, and more. This is being expanded to Preview members in Canada and the U.K. and is being tweaked to be based more on your gaming activity.

The April update for the Xbox One appears to be primarily aimed at quality of life improvements over big whizzbang features like the addition of screenshots in the March update. The cross platform voice messages between the Xbox One and Xbox 360 may also be laying some of the necessary groundwork for the Xbox app on Windows 10.

The other previously announced additions with April update include an improvement to the snapped Party Chat app. It will notify the Xbox One user when an issue is detected such as a microphone not being connected or privacy settings not allowing group chat.

There is also an additional link for the Game Hubs while viewing the activity feed for notifications, achievements, screenshots, and other activity for from people on your Friends List.

Xbox One Achievement

Most noticeable though is an update to Achievement notifications. These notifications now include a description of the Achievement in addition to its name and worth.

A release date for the April update to the Xbox One has not been announced. If it’s anything like previous updates though, it will be within the first couple of week of the month.

The PlayStation 4 also received a significant update Thursday after months of minor updates. What do you think of the way Microsoft and Sony are handling updates to the new-gen consoles? Sound off in the comments below.

[Images via Xbox Wire]