February update for Xbox One brings game hubs, updates to controller, party chat and TV

Microsoft has started rolling out its first update of the year to Xbox One owners, and it's a bumper package as first revealed midway through January.

Not to be confused with the Xbox Preview program update, this is the one intended for all Xbox One consumers.

Larry Hryb, Xbox Live's Major Nelson blogged about the features coming in this update over at Xbox Wire, in it he says, "This month, we’re improving the Xbox One controller, enhancing Party Chat and adding new TV features like trending to OneGuide, and bringing “trick play” and live streaming on Windows Phone and Android to Xbox Live members in Europe using the Digital TV Tuner. Additionally, you can discover new content from your favorite games and further personalize your dashboard, among other cool new features."

You can check out the walk through video below, and the full changelog below it.

Controller improvements

  • Quick Connect – Previously, controller connections to Xbox One took approximately four-to-five seconds when powering on a controller. Now, it will only take about two seconds.
  • Stability improvements – The update also provides a number of fixes that address some of the controller disconnect issues reported by Xbox One owners.

    To download the update, connect a controller to your Xbox One with a USB cable. Keep any headsets connected to the controller. Connect to Xbox Live. Press the Menu. Go to Settings > Devices & accessories and select the controller. If you have multiple controllers attached, you can select Buzz – which will cause the selected controller to vibrate. Then select Update to download the new firmware to the controller attached via the USB cable, and the screen will show the Updating controller … progress screen. When you see the Controller updated screen, press ‘B’ to go back to the Devices & accessories main page. Reselect the controller. The Firmware version should now be: 1.2.2236.0

Game hubs

These are the go-to centers for interesting content, tips and tricks for your favorite titles. Every Xbox One game will have a game hub where you can see which friends are playing the game, compete with your friends in game leaderboards, dive into the coolest game clips and game broadcasts, and follow the game’s top broadcasters and clip creators.

To get to the game hub for your favorite game, find a game in your pins, recently played list, or My games and apps, then press the Menu button and select View game hub. You can also search for any game in the Xbox Store and click on the Game Hub tile from the game’s store page.

On the game’s activity feed, game developers can share interesting content with anyone who follows the game. You’ll be the first to get news on upcoming updates and DLC, featured game clips and trailers, behind the scenes content and more. All the news about your favorite games is delivered right to your console. Additionally, you can now choose to Follow a game from a game hub, which will incorporate the game’s activity feed content into your activity feed.

Party chat updates

  • Chat connection status – New icons have been added to let you know the current status of a chat connection in your party. A Clock icon means the connection is being made. A Squawker Ring icon indicates the connection was successful, and actively shows who is speaking. An X icon means that networking limitations (such as a Strict NAT) are preventing the chat connection from completing for specific participants.
  • Improved connectivity between multiple participants with Strict or Moderate NATs – We also made some connectivity improvements to party chat in partial mesh situations when multiple participants are behind moderate or strict NATs with their home gateways/routers.
  • Game and party invitations – To help you more quickly know who is inviting you to what, we made improvements to game and party invitations. Now, you can see which of your friends is inviting you and what party or game the invite is for, without having to wait for the text to scroll on the notification.
  • Performance improvements – We also decreased the time it takes to set up person-to-person (P2P) connectivity for party chat and streamlined the retry logic for setting up party chat sessions.
  • Custom backgrounds and tile transparency – Transparency was added to the Home tiles to make your background images more visible. As a reminder, to set a custom background, go to Settings > My Xbox > My background. Note: some items can’t be made transparent due to usage rights/restrictions for certain images.

TV updates

A number of updates to the live TV experience are available today and new features have been added to additional countries including:

  • TV trending in OneGuide – As you scan the OneGuide TV listings, you can see which shows are trending with a “Trending on Xbox” or “Trending on Twitter” note and icon within the details for each show. Currently, Xbox TV trending is available to all Xbox One owners in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, and Twitter trending is available in the United States.
  • Live TV trending (new countries) France, Germany, Brazil and Mexico now have the ability to see live TV trending data in Xbox OneGuide.
  • Improved control of TVs, set-top boxes and audio/video receivers – Xbox One works even better with more devices. Updates to the IR blasting database for new models have been added and address issues reported by our fan community.
  • “Trick play” with Xbox One Digital TV Tuner – Xbox One Digital TV Tuner owners in supported countries (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) are now able to see video frames when fast-forwarding or rewinding paused TV on Xbox One consoles.
  • Live TV streaming on Windows Phone and Android – Live TV streaming on Windows Phone and Android devices for Xbox One Digital TV Tuner owners has been added in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
  • OneGuide for the Netherlands – Support for OneGuide is being added for Xbox Live members in the Netherlands.

Source: Xbox Wire

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