Xbox Avatars hands-on video offers a glimpse of good things to come

Microsoft unveiled the new Xbox Avatars at E3 last year, and after a bit of a delay, we finally got a look at the near-finished version.

The app to edit new avatars is currently available to select users on the Xbox Insider Program. The app is currently in beta form, and it has a few glitches and quite limited options. However, it's a tantalizing glimpse at a new ecosystem that could grow to be as rich and varied as the Avatars system pioneered on the Xbox 360.

In the video above, we tour the new systems and features, including new colorization options, new types of expressions and customization features.

Xbox Avatars is available on the Xbox Alpha ring, but it should roll out more broadly in the coming weeks as Microsoft finetunes the app and adds more features.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at 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!

  • I keep wondering how many people are actually that much into this whole avatar thing as to even care for the new system? Personally I have set mine long ago on X360 (I think I even got a premium skin o.o) and never even launched the editor again. You can't even utilise those avatars in other games like you could with Miis on Nintendo's platforms, can you?
  • Yes, I was hoping for some cross-compatibility for XBox360 as well. Maybe at least in regards to a profile pic generated from the avatar. But even that was out of the question. I also loved that it was impossible to create an avatar picture from the face of your avatar. You could only have one from its limbs or abs. A well thought set of features as usual. So I guess most people did not care about it, since there was nothing done right to care about. IF there was a good avatar functionality, it may become handy for some.
  • The new one will have Unity integrations (had a news about the direction), devs can use it in their game. It can bring many good things to MS, to Xbox. A good business strategy.
  • Wasn't Microsoft to feature an option to build your avatar automatically from image processing? Is it a thing, or was I only dreaming?
  • They teased it but since Kinect is dead I'd say it's a fair bet this feature is also off the table for good.
  • Didn't they also tease a Kinect alternative and opened up the technology to third-parties? Also I don't think it would require Kinect at its finest. They could model it simply by any photograph or sets of photos as well simply.
  • Kinect 4 Azure is available for everyone, every tech firm.
  • Love the animations, but graphically not quite the Pixar level I was hoping for. Are these scalable? Could it be that the fidelity gets better on an X or next gen? I want a Disney cartoon damn it!
  • Graphics are pretty good though, especially compared with the previous ones.
  • Who can get this? I'm enrolled in the Xbox Insider program through an app on PC and I didn't get it. Or is it just for Xbox owners that are on insider releases of their OS? The language is a bit confusing.