In a surprise update on Xbox Wire today (opens in new tab), Microsoft confirmed a major requested feature is finally coming to Xbox consoles.
Discord is a social network and chat tool that has become the de-facto place for all video game community building and voice comms over the last few years. The service boasts millions of monthly active users and is only growing in its dominance in the space owing to its broad feature set, speed, and convenience.
To that end, Xbox voice communications have fallen by the wayside a little in recent years. At least anecdotally, I find myself opting for Discord voice communications either on my phone or my PC even while playing on my Xbox, owing to the cross-platform nature of it. Even though you can voice chat cross-platform using the Xbox Game Bar or Xbox app on PC, many users either aren't aware it exists, or simply prefer to use Discord, since they likely already have it set up and ready to go.
Microsoft seems to be acknowledging the rise and dominance of Discord with this latest update, responding to years of requests from Xbox fans to bring Discord voice communications directly into the Xbox dashboard as an option. Given the increase in games with cross-platform functionality such as Fall Guys, Minecraft, Halo Infinite, and Apex Legends, having platform-agnostic comms is a progressive and future-facing move that will only benefit gamers.
The update will roll out to select members of the Xbox Insider program initially in testing. To activate it, players will need to navigate to the party section using their Xbox controller, and select "Try Discord Voice," which will open an account linking flow using a QR code scannable with a mobile phone. Once your accounts are linked, you'll be able to send Discord voice channels to your Xbox console using the mobile app. It's unclear exactly if you'll be able to join from your Xbox console specifically, but we'll gun to get hands-on with it ASAP and give you a deep dive on how it all works.
The development here is interesting given earlier reports that Microsoft was actually in talks to acquire Discord in months past. Microsoft's integration with Discord may be indicative of a wider partnership, as Xbox's own "Club" community features have largely become a wasteland of spam, while users generally flock to Discord for sharing content and building communities with their friends.
If you're in the Xbox Insider Program and want to try it out, here's how to get Discord on Xbox working for yourself.
Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!
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