Lots of new features headed to Xbox One in the coming months

With only a few minutes before the start of the Xbox briefing at Gamescom 2014, Microsoft’s Larry Hryb has just posted an announcement about the future of Xbox One.

In the post Major Nelson details new features that will be coming to the Xbox One via software updates in the next few months. Some of these have already been revealed previously, such as the new Friends section but others are completely new.

Here’s the full list of new features:

  • New “Friends” section – the new Friends section has been available for a few early access Preview members and we’re expanding it to everyone enrolled in the Preview program. The new Friends section enables users to see at a glance what’s going on with their friends. They can stay up-to-date with their current activities, the most popular games their friends are playing, and a Gamerscore leaderboard to see who has improved their Gamerscore over the last 30 days.
  • Snap Center – Some of gamers’ favorite features in the Xbox 360 guide, are coming to Xbox One in a way that’s now truly be side-by-side with games. Messages, friends, parties, and achievements will all be available in the new Snap Center, providing a seamless way to switch back and forth without having to leave a game.
  • Threaded Messages – keeping gamers in their games while they multitask has been a huge focus. The new Messages app features threaded messages with the full conversation history – including embedded links to Game DVR clips – that can be viewed without interrupting gameplay.
  • Media Player – a new app will be available soon that enables users to play media files from either an attached USB device or from a network connected home media server that supports DLNA protocols. The preview version of the Media Player app will initially only support USB devices, with DLNA support coming soon. Xbox One will support more formats than Xbox 360, including support for dozens of new file formats like mpeg 2 TS, animated gifs and mkv which will be added by the end of the year. You can check out the full list of supported formats here.
  • Xbox One Digital TV Tunerannounced last week, this new accessory will enter a limited preview program in Europe (UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain), in advance of its retail launch beginning in October.
  • Stream TV to SmartGlass – launching first in markets receiving the Xbox Digital TV Tuner, Xbox One owners will be able to stream their TV across their home network to their smartphones and tablets using the Xbox SmartGlass app. They can also pause, play and rewind as well as change channels, without interrupting gameplay on the Xbox One. This will work for SmartGlass apps on Windows, iOS, and Android.
  • Boot to TV – Now Xbox One owners will be able to set their console to boot directly to television when coming out of connected standby.
  • Live TV mini guide – for markets where OneGuide is available, a new mini guide on the bottom of the screen will display details about the TV content that is currently playing. Users can quickly change channels and see what’s on other channels, while still watching TV.
  • Country Expansion – we’re doing a lot of work on the backend to prepare for Xbox One to launch in 29 new markets in the coming weeks.

Source: Major Nelson | Image via Microsoft

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Lamp Post said,
You can transcode FLAC to WMA Lossless, though.

yeah, well, i could also re-rip my whole CD collection, but the point is why make it complicated when at Redmond could make it simple. There's still a lot of people sitting in an ivory tower and not even thinking about what the customer really want/need. Thats what pissing me off. I WANT to like the x1 and replace my HTPC, but i simply cant. paid TV via DVB-C is not supported by the new tuner and the new update doesnt support FLAC. I will need to wait more. probably until forever.

gaburko said,

yeah, well, i could also re-rip my whole CD collection, but the point is why make it complicated when at Redmond could make it simple. There's still a lot of people sitting in an ivory tower and not even thinking about what the customer really want/need. Thats what pissing me off. I WANT to like the x1 and replace my HTPC, but i simply cant. paid TV via DVB-C is not supported by the new tuner and the new update doesnt support FLAC. I will need to wait more. probably until forever.

I was just saying that with a lossless format, there at least exists a rather easy solution. Batch converting with dbPowerAmp or something like that is a lot easier than re-ripping the collection.

Well, that turns the whole market logic upside down. So, MSFT will charge me for the X1, but at the same time i will need to adjust my preferences to their console, not they to my needs? Thanks, but - no, thanks.

Lamp Post said,

I was just saying that with a lossless format, there at least exists a rather easy solution. Batch converting with dbPowerAmp or something like that is a lot easier than re-ripping the collection.

Yay! Been waiting for the app that allows playback of media files on a NAS. Pretty disappointed that it didn't ship with the console.

Just wish Sony would get the finger out on DLNA too. Otherwise my PS4 is going to have to have a Xbone to keep it company soon.

The plex workaround is too hit and miss for my liking.

Burnz316 said,
Yay! Been waiting for the app that allows playback of media files on a NAS. Pretty disappointed that it didn't ship with the console.

"stream their TV across their home network to their smartphones and tablets using the Xbox SmartGlass app."
- What's stopping them from streaming gaming content to tablets a la Wii U style? Imagine if parents wants to watch TV while kids play: start streaming to a tablet instead while kids continue holding the same controllers.

One of the main reasons I purchased an Xbox One was because of the OS support and updates Microsoft offered on the Xbox 360. I'm extremely happy they're taking it to a new level with Xbox One. In fact, streaming TV to SmartGlass was something I was literally thinking about yesterday.

media playback capabilities, nice :) Lets hope this forces Sony too add .mkv file playback on the ps4.

No FLAC, Ogg or Opus audio support though :(

Any word on a background music player? Like can I play Forza and play my own music without some silly snap thing on the side?

WOW!!!!!!;.... All of this by years end... That's a nice set of features...

I know I shouldn't be shocked, considering Microsoft is a software company and all. But the abundance and pace in which the features are coming is phenomenal.
"Xbox On".... "Xbox go to:"... "Xbox Select"
A beautiful answer(s) to a problem I never knew I had... :-)

MKV support.... YES PLEASE...

InsaneNutter said,

Wasn't meant in a Touché way!

You absolutely corrected my view that i'd have nothing to do now haha. So therefore i bow down in your presence ;)

Ok, I stand corrected. I didn't see the link for the list of supported format at first, and it was actually listed in front of me as well. Shakes head.

Edited by RommelS, Aug 12 2014, 1:24pm :

MKV is supported, but DTS/AC3 are not. Which is the majority of audio formats normally found within a MKV container (at least for HD), so it's pretty much useless.

Did they say it's not going to support DTS/AC3? The decoders are already there for the Bluray/DVD apps so it's not like decoder licensing will be an issue.

Well it lists several AVI video types, such as Divx/Uncompressed/xvid etc, which all use the same container "AVI". Same for WMA, i lists several audio types "loseless/pro/voice", yet they all use the same container "WMA". So i don't understand why it wouldnt list DTS/AC3 as playback, even though it has the codecs anyway.

Now all the Xbox One needs is Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio in their BD player. If they include that, I can get rid of my stand alone BD player in the living room!

Sweet! I really wanted the ability to play media from my NAS which supports MASS USB as well. I'm just hoping it will work with my XBox One. Hopefully someday a VLC client will show up. Its taken a while for the Windows Phone one to show, but I'm patient for now. The Xbox One just keeps getting better and better. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that DVR recording capabilities will eventually come. The way they keep improving the Xbox One, is very impressive so far.

Wow! Talk about a large flood of media features, I like lots of them, going to be a strong finish to this year it looks like. They're slowly making the XB1 the media hub they talked about it being originally.

Boot to TV will be awesome for the kids and family members just wanting to sit down and relax. Add in some music streaming and it's a dream come true.

Now, where is my preloading and digital gaming updates!!

they probably want you to stream the content you want to watch later from a VOD providers like Netflix, Amazon or Xbox video rather than record it to the device and so having anything more than pause, rewind functionality isn't necessary

MagmaGolem said,
they probably want you to stream the content you want to watch later from a VOD providers like Netflix, Amazon or Xbox video rather than record it to the device and so having anything more than pause, rewind functionality isn't necessary

true, but I could ditch my sky box if it came with a dual tuner. Whilst I stream a lot from various subscription based services, my wife seems to series link and record quite a but (mostly kids stuff).

they could potentially link the TV guide listing of the show to Xbox video, thus using VOD to imitate DVR functions, of course then theyd need to create a subscription service for xbox video because no one is going to pay for shows they were going to record for free