Xbox One March Update Improves Achievements, Twitch, Backwards Compatibility

A new Xbox One update is on the way for March, 2016. Microsoft revealed details Monday of a solid update to the console that features many fan requested upgrades to features from party chat included in Twitch broadcasting to Achievements to backwards compatible Xbox 360 games.

Microsoft takes feedback from Xbox One owners via the Xbox Feedback Uservoice website. Fans can post and vote on suggestions there, which has led to many additions to the console since it first launched in November, 2014.

The March Xbox One update almost exclusively addresses fan feedback from various areas. Achievement hunters in particular will be happy to know they now have an alternative to the slow-loading Achievements app. Achievements are now built into the Xbox dashboard, and will show progress for the current game being played. Additionally, the list is sortable, and the progress bars on each Achievement will highlight how much further players have progressed since the last time they checked.

The ability to play Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One has turned into a tremendous hit for the console. However, users are still limited to only being able to purchase the last-gen titles from the Xbox 360 or through the Xbox Marketplace website. The March update will finally bring backwards compatible Xbox 360 games into the Xbox One store for purchase.

Xbox One Twitch Party Chat The new party chat for Twitch on the Xbox One. [Image via Xbox]Meanwhile, Twitch broadcasters can finally let the rest of the world hear more than just their voice. The Twitch broadcasting app has let viewers only hear the broadcaster’s voice since it launched. However, the next Xbox One update will let other members of the broadcaster’s party be heard as well.

Microsoft also included some nice options for broadcasting, which is possibly why it was so long in coming. The other party members must opt-in to having their audio shared in the Twitch broadcast. If they don’t, their voice will only be heard by other party members and not the larger world. Additionally, the party leader will have the option to mute a party member’s chat audio in case they start getting unruly or disruptive during a broadcast.

Twitch is not the only place where party chat options are coming, however. New settings options will be available so that party chat can be heard through just headsets, just speakers, or both. Additionally, party chat is being expanded once again to support 16 party members. This will work across both the Xbox One and the Xbox One app for Windows 10.

Xbox One Achievement Progress Achievement progress is now built into the Xbox One dashboard. [Image via Xbox]The GameDVR is another Xbox One feature that is receiving more options. Users can currently record the last 30 seconds of gameplay using the GameDVR. The March update will make that recording option configurable to 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute, 3 minutes or 5 minutes.

The Xbox One Activity Feed is also being tweaked to allow users to watch a video in the feed instead of being taken to the another app to watch it.

On top of the Xbox One changes the Xbox One app for Windows 10 is getting some updates as well.

  • Gamerscore Leaderboard: In the Xbox app (beta), fans will be able to enjoy the same Gamerscore Leaderboard feature introduced to Xbox One last month. Access the Gamerscore Leaderboard in the Xbox app (beta) by navigating to the Achievements section of your profile. See where you stand relative to your friends by comparing total Gamerscore, as well as the biggest gains over a rolling 30-day period. A Leaderboard for game stats will also be coming to the Xbox app (beta). Visit the Game Hub for a title with hero stats, click on Achievements and see how you stack up against your friends.
  • Updated ‘Featured’ section: The ‘Featured’ gaming section below the ‘Recently played’ games area has been updated to spotlight games, deals, community events and more.

Meanwhile, both the Xbox One and Xbox One app will add Xbox 360 Achievements to their respective Activity Feeds, allow users to follow YouTube web links posted in Game Hubs, and compare Avatars. Surprisingly, Microsoft is also changing the Xbox LIVE reputation system slightly. The reputation gauge will now only show for players who profile is rated as “needs work” or “avoid me.”

Xbox One Preview Program members should receive the March update today to test before it is deployed to all console owners. The beta version of the Xbox One app for Windows 10 will receive the changes on Wednesday.

What do you think of the March Xbox One update? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Xbox]