Xbox One Update Rolling Out, Allows Purchase Of 360 Games, 16 People In Party Chat And More

The March Xbox One update has begun rolling out to all console owners Wednesday after spending the last few weeks in the Preview Program. While there are the expected features such as the ability to purchase Xbox 360 games directly from the Xbox One, Microsoft has made some new additions, as well.

The update almost exclusively addresses fan feedback from various areas of the Xbox One. One of the new features added is better support for adjusting the thumbstick configuration on the Xbox Elite Controller.

“Based on this feedback, we’ve created a new method to calculate the position of the thumbsticks consistently, enabling thumbstick response that is more in line with what you are expecting. This method measures and uses the distance of the thumbstick position relative to the center focus point of the thumbstick base, instead of the standard method, which calculates the measurement using a two-dimensional plane. With the latest firmware update, you can expect increased accuracy of the thumbsticks on your Xbox Elite Wireless Controller for even greater control.”

Xbox One Elite Controller Configuration Tool [Image via Major Nelson]Additionally, the Xbox Accessories app on Windows 10 will now display the current firmware version, battery status, and other details about the controller connected to device.

Previously confirmed additions include something that will make Achievement hunters happy. There is now 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. Note the existing Achievements app will still be available for those who prefer to use it.

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 finally brings backwards compatible Xbox 360 games into the Xbox One store for purchase. Just note the same checkout process for Xbox One is not used for Xbox 360 titles.

Twitch broadcasting with party chat was one of the items promised, but never appeared during the Preview Program. The update includes some nice options for broadcasting. 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 has 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 Twitch Party Broadcast [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.

The Xbox One update also adds Xbox 360 Achievements to its Activity Feeds, allow users to follow YouTube web links posted in Game Hubs, and compare Avatars. 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.”

The Xbox One update is rolling out now to Xbox One owners. If you have not received it yet, go into the console’s system setting and force it to check for an update.

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

[Image via Xbox]