Following several teasers, Microsoft has officially unveiled a new wave of features on their way to Xbox One, as a part of the console's next update. Shifting to the "Redstone 4" development branch, the "Xbox Spring Update" is set to add a variety of new functionality to the operating system, including support for 1440p displays and deeper Mixer integration. All of these features are on track to hit the Xbox Insider Program in the weeks to come, ahead of a major public update later this year.
One of the biggest additions in the Xbox Spring Update will be support for 1440p outputs, opening the console to a wider range of displays. Currently, Xbox One downsamples exclusively to 1080p, resulting in a lower than native resolution on 1440p (QHD) displays. Following this update, a significant resolution bump to native 2560 x 1440 can be expected for games and media on select displays. This will apply to both Xbox One X and Xbox One S consoles.
This update is also set to expand the feature set of Mixer, Microsoft's live streaming service, with a new interactive controller sharing feature. When enabled, streamers will have the ability to share their game with a viewer, either through an on-screen controller overlay or by connecting a gamepad to their PC. Going hand-in-hand with Mixer's low latency technologies, this further emphasizes the service's focus on interactivity.
Improvements are promised for the Microsoft Edge web browser with the Xbox Spring Update, delivering a new controller-focused user interface (UI) designed for console. Alongside improved controller input, the browser will be integrated further into the Xbox One OS, allowing for file uploads and downloads through the File Explorer.
New audio features are coming to Xbox One too, ushering in improved options for finely tuning balancing. Using a new Guide menu widget, game audio and background audio levels will be configurable on an individual basis. System sounds are also set to be reworked to support spatial audio, adding a level of depth to OS interactions.
A new Xbox Live Gold section is being added to "My Games & Apps," similar to the Xbox Game Pass tab added earlier this year. Through this tab, Games with Gold titles can be quickly installed.
Further tweaks are also being made to the Xbox One social experience, spanning Xbox Live Clubs and Tournaments, as follows:
- Algorithmic feeds are being introduced to Xbox Live Clubs, allowing posts to be sorted into "What's Hot" and "Top Posts" sections. This will provide an easier way to sift through posts across your clubs.
- Improved filtering tools are hitting Xbox Live clubs, allowing admins to filter invitation requests based on various criteria. These filters offer advanced searches via specific data, such as playtime or Gamerscore on a per-game basis.
- New Open Tournaments provide a way to join competitions from Game Hubs, without the need for joining an Xbox Live Club.
The first Xbox Spring Update build is currently on track for a 9 PM ET release on March 1, for those enrolled in the Alpha ring of the Xbox Insider Program. This update is expected to provide a first hands-on with some of these features, with more to come in the weeks ahead.
Which features are you looking forward to in this update? Make sure to drop your thoughts in the comments section.
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