February 25th 2014 8:00 am PT

A look at Party and Friends in the Xbox One March Update

In this video, Richard Irving from the Xbox One engineering team walks us through some of the improvements we’ve made to the Xbox One party system, friends list and more.

Cross posted on Xbox Wire

Xbox One By James Pfaff (litheon), Blogger

  • FatMarshall

    Any date for the beta update?

  • evilfangs .

    So you still have to go to your friends list to see who just came online? NOTIFCATIONS??????

    • Danilo Viana

      Would be cool but at this point there’s no real increase in speed from three buttons to two (one of those three is a dpad press). The Y button was always a shortcut (the usual way to go to friends on the 360 is way more than three presses) and now we have a “1 button” shortcut of saying Xbox go to friends.

      • evilfangs .

        Kinect is getting worse and worse everyday in my house. When I first got it in November it worked nearly every time, now I have to shout at the stupid thing to do even the most basic commands.

        Nothing has changed with my setup or the Kinect placement, I don’t understand how it can go from working nearly all the time even when I spoke quietly to needing to speak really loud to get it to work. Surley it should be the other way around.

  • Rdeal

    have they added a notification for when friends come one?

    • taternuggets

      Probably not, because only everyone has asked for it. sigh.

    • BooBee

      That feature is the #1 feature needed BADLY! There is a reason we are always going to the damn friend list to see who’s online because we never know who’s online without notifications.

      • A. J.

        I think it would be ideal to do it for at least your Favorites. Ideally, it would be an option be notified for “All”, “Favorites”, or “None”.

        • EighteenCharacters

          Yea, this is the best way to implement friend notifications. With the massive increase in the total number of people on our friend list, it could get really annoying once we have over 100 friends or so. Confined to our Favorites list, it would potentially be much less annoying.

      • ElektroDragon

        NO!! Do NOT add this feature unless you also add a way to TURN IT OFF without turning off any other notifications.

        If they add this feature without the ability to turn it off, I am literally selling my Xbox One.

        • Xenokai

          you could turn it off on 360 why are you so offensive? lol seriously what people do to wanna seem diffrent lol

          • ElektroDragon

            Not without turning off all other notifications, that was my point.

  • Speedkiller

    cant wait

  • Tyler Howell

    The ability to kick people out of parties needs to be brought back for the X1.

  • taternuggets

    Sometimes I wonder if the xbox one designers even had 360’s…

    • Rupert Oldcorn

      Agreed, I don’t think there wasn’t anything on that video that was ‘new’ it was all stuff we expected to have out of the box because when you upgrade a console you don’t expect to regress.

    • EighteenCharacters

      I can’t help but wonder the same thing. Microsoft spent 8 years refining the UI on the 360 to the point of near-perfection, and then tossed away every refinement they’d made when it came time to design the UI for the Xbox One.

      I love you guys, but sometimes you are your own worst enemies.

      • Brian Ghattas

        Gotta love it when butt kissers like yourself always start a critical comment towards your heroes with more butt kissing. Pathetic.

    • UsherSucks

      I agree that the 360 stuff was amazing. But…you can’t release a new console and not try to make things even better. Otherwise everyone is screaming, “I thought this was a new console? Why is everything the same as the 360?”

      • disqus_icUCvMAJ5v

        No problem with them doing new things, but for the console not to have the functionality that became standard in their previous console? No Dolby Digital out the optical port for god sakes?

        • Danilo Viana

          Dolby digital is considered inferior to DTS and the Xbox one supports DTS do I wouldn’t call the Dolby omission a failure in this case. Unfortunately headsets usually only support DD while most received and HT’s support both DD, DTS and other formats like DD Ex and True HD.

          One question, considering most DD headsets only have two drivers and only reencode the DD signal as virtual surround, what’s the difference between those headsets and pure stereo headsets in games like Battlefield 4 that do virtual surround in software?

    • Kamikaze Watermelon

      Micro$oft is having a hard time finding decent UI designers across all of their products, it seems.

    • pie

      I read somewhere that they basically had to start from scratch for the X1, so it would be pretty hard to imagine how they could launch with everything at the same level as the 360.

  • Danny Hogan

    Wonder what other features this update will include

    • UsherSucks

      I heard streamlining achievements…

  • Tony

    Still waiting on that Dolby Digital support for the optical output that should have been there on day one

    • Nick Peck

      Complain to Dolby labs for not renewing the contracts in time… But I do agree, I’d love to have that asap.

    • disqus_icUCvMAJ5v

      I agree, it’s essential that it be included. I also agree that it should have never been omitted!! Still no word from MS on when we can expect it. I’m skeptical about it being included in the March update. I think I’m going to wait on Titanfall until this issue is fixed. I really value a proper audio experience in my gaming. Especially where multiplayer is concerned.

    • Allan

      I think I’m missing something here, why not just uncompressed PCM thru HDMI? The bitrate is way higher. Or is this a fancy headphone thing?

  • alberto suarez


  • super tomtendo

    Update looks great and much needed as the current party system is atrocious. However, still looking for notifications of friends… at least the “favorites” should have the ability for that if they’re worried about 1000 friends signing on.

    • Clayton Criel

      Yes! Please make favorites show up as a notification that they have signed into xbox live. This is very very much needed. Just favorites of course!!

    • Nick Peck

      Agreed, only having the fav’s pop up when they log on is a good idea. I don’t really miss the notifications but that would be helpful.

    • Richard DeHaven

      It would be good to have a watchlist of Games/Friends to get a notification of not only when a friend comes online, but when they start playing a game you might be interested in while you are watching TV…. My friends will see me on TV and assume I’m not there, but if I am watching TV and see one of them switches to TitanFall, I would like to know that so I can see if they want to join up!

  • evilfangs .

    Ladies and Gentlemen we have some breaking news, we have just got another demo on the demo page! That makes 8 now.

    • http://ryan.snook.us/ Snook

      Lego movie has been on there for a few days. Slow breaking news.

    • digitallife

      Yeah the amount of demos is laughable..considering there are microsoft studio games for sale with no demos.

  • Larry P

    Is that it?!?

  • Pidde

    Can i have an invite for the beta ?

  • UsherSucks

    So awesome. Can’t wait.

  • dark freedom

    We need a message when connect the friends, because this is very important for me.
    In steam i select the friends i want to messame me when they conect.

    Manolito Perales is Connected on Xbox One.

    • EldritchWarlord

      You’re saying you want a notification when a friend comes online as with Xbox 360?
      We all do.

      • Florida Tryhard

        that pop up when someone comes online was very annoying im glad its gone

        • Azgoodazitgetz

          If it was annoying than why didn’t you disable it? Think before you type

  • StudioMultimédia Gon’Interacti

    no voice message in march ?

    • super tomtendo

      That’s a good point that is clearly missed in the system. Not sure what the hold up is on this? Maybe they got sick of spam/trash talking messages?

      • StudioMultimédia Gon’Interacti

        its easy to report those and its easy for them to take action. it is the same problem as with text don’t you think. In the middle of a game, im ok with sending voice, but typing require too much time

        • dibils

          thats what the smartglass app is for

          • StudioMultimédia Gon’Interacti

            you can’t send voice message over smartglass. you can’t even listen to the voice message on the x360 smartglass app (which is something i dont understand).

          • dibils

            i mean for sending text messages over LIVE. i use the windows 8 smartglass app to send messages, so easy and quick. ofcourse not everyone has laptop next to them when playing but i would have thought sending a message using a phone would still be alot easier then with xbox controller

          • StudioMultimédia Gon’Interacti

            indeed, easier over the phone since you can type with both hand and have the app open already, but less conveniant then the voice i guess.

            They could at least have a “voice to text” operation done with the Kinect, because every Apple and Android phone does that with (mixed?) good result.

    • Lucas Sanches Cestari

      text msgs was and is always better, i not see why they would return the voice msgs

    • http://www.Bl4ckSh33p.de/ Bl4ckSh33p

      I hope they will come back soon. Its much faster and easier than typing.

    • http://twitter.com/rogXue rogXue

      wow you know I never even realized this was missing. That’s a crazy feature to remove!

      • StudioMultimédia Gon’Interacti

        at least they put the auto voice on when you join a party… that was such a stupid option to have to manually allow chat. Voice message is important to me, it allow quick interaction in middle of a game compare to typing long message with a gamepad.

  • http://www.yakkowarner.com/ Yakko Warner

    I admit I was skeptical from the initial descriptions of how the party system would be improved, but I really like what I’m seeing here. A system-level “invite party to game” option? Yes! This looks like it will make things much easier. Looking forward to this.

    • RSix

      thinking the same, mor easier now – so what. more updates and features, nice.

  • Jason Williams

    I would argue that accepting a party invite should not automatically pull me out of my current game.

    • mcmax3000

      I don’t believe it will. Accepting a Party + Game invite will, but just a party invite shouldn’t.

      • Jason Williams

        hope that’s true – Titanfall Beta was just a mess – send an invite, no response, player finishes match, invite expired. Start game alone, get invite, don’t respond because you want to finish the match. Yuck.

  • Schniebel

    keep up the good work. playing music in the backround is still missing. a better navigation trough the marketplace would be nice too.

  • Osei TheTalent Tyson

    VOICE MESSAGES!!!!!!!!!!

  • Eric Chin

    there still appears to be the sliding rating scale of a member’s reputation, is there a way to submit rep about someone or is everybody still just defaultly good and there’s nothing we can really do to change that still lol

  • Mike

    Original Story: (Posted 2/25/2014 On Game Informers Website.)

    Microsoft has announced that a long-awaited Twitch streaming feature is coming to Xbox One alongside Respawn’s Titanfall on March 11. In addition to offering gameplay direct from the console and on-screen chat, the Xbox One integration will offer something not found on rival PlayStation 4: archiving.

    The difference is that PS4 Twitch experience was crafted by Sony, whereas the AP article announcing the feature suggests that Microsoft had a hand in developing the Xbox One version. The update on Xbox One also includes the ability for broadcasters to directly interact with viewers through the updated party system.

  • disqus_icUCvMAJ5v

    I’m glad that they are fixing this. It would be nice to know when true 7.1/5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound will be supported through the optical out!

    • digitallife

      You are in the minority of people clamoring for this thats why it’s going to take a while.

      • Killingfetish

        Anyone with a gaming headset is missing this feature. We are the majority.

        • digitallife

          LMAO..you are the majority by what definition..that less than 20% of all console gamers own a professional level set of headphones..i’m sure all these features you guys want are going to do wonders for the owners of x11’s and so forth that can’t even handle it and it’s the best selling headset too because of the price so yeah let’s do all of that instead of fixing issues that affect everyone..actually 100% of the consoles audience to make something for less than 20% of them instead.

      • bill

        I think it should be there also.

        • digitallife

          It should be but it’s not and it’s coming. How about we focus on fixing the glaringly more important issues instead of pausing that to satisfy a small audience who spent $200 on a headset.

          • Azgoodazitgetz

            How about stop being selfish? DD should have came with this so called “next gen console”. We can’t be blamed when we are missing a feature that we are used to.

          • Chris Gosling

            Small audience? You high? Nearly everyone I know has a headset. Have you ever seen MLG or any tournaments? They all have weird things attached to their heads…Remember what may be more important to you may not be to others, and to a lot of others, we would like our 5.1DD pronto.

  • http://akimoto.co.vu/ ilovegoogleglass

    Great software design!

  • https://live.xbox.com/MyXbox/Profile?gamertag=DarkGin87 Lee Rayson (DarkGin87)

    I like it!!!

  • tjs0004

    So when will I be able to chat with my 360 friends? I’m all alone when I’m on my xbone. I spend way more time on my 360.

    • Michael Burden

      That has already been dismissed by Microsoft as a feature that is not coming or not possible. There are NO plans for cross-platform chat between the One and the 360 due to the different voice codecs being used.

  • Speedkiller

    cant wait to use my xbox to stream on twitch on march 11 with this update yay

  • Killingfetish

    Dolby digital via optical? All I keep hearing is stereo talk. Stereo headset, stereo headset adapter. Is dolby digital not a priority? This is a direct quote:”Dolby Digital is coming post launch. This was a SW scheduling issue pure and simple, and I know people are disappointed, but we will have it.” If that’s the case why are we still waiting?

    • Danilo Viana

      Because it’s not ready. They never gave a time frame, only “post launch”.

      • Azgoodazitgetz

        Its been nearly four months and my $250 headset sounds better on my 360 than on my Xbox one. There are no excuses, this is supposed to be next gen.

  • kronos316

    I’m just happy the recent list is back

  • Vince

    So…. Major you’ll release this update in time for Titanfall, but not for Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare? You know your other exclusives need some loving too. Or should I say timed exclusive hahaha…. yea

    • Danilo Viana

      The update is being beta tested so it’s not ready yet, unfortunately.

  • Florida Tryhard

    now start working on a 1080i patch because my tv cuts off the sides in 720p

    • fwdkiller

      you do realise 720p is greater than 1080i..

  • Kino

    I hope in the future, we would be able to snap the Friends list

  • Scott Sabatini

    3D Playback!!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/Da_Loud_Man Da_Loud_Man

    Needs notifications when favorite friends log on.

  • Mike Irish

    I miss friends notifications pop ups. I think it would be great to have to know when our favorites are on. Maybe have a enable/disable feature for those who don’t like it at all. I’m very happy with all the improvements, and making the xbox one the console to own!!!

  • coip

    So, with this update will I be able to party chat with 4 people and still play Killer Instinct against only 1 of them? Right now KI freaks out if I try to enter exhibition mode while in a party with more than 1 person.

  • HOSTILE 17 llll

    Please add a volume control for party chat for kinect. Right now the in game volume is lowered when you start/join a party. So the chat is too loud and the game is too quiet.

  • http://Site.com Gedalya

    I was first told that Skype was to be a snap app. What lies that turned out to be. . .

  • Esteban Granados

    I Want A Notification When Friends Log On Xbox Live It Would Make Things Easier Than Always Checking Who’s Online And Who’s Not

    • Alex Tran

      Even better, how about only your favorites can get the notification. Much easier

      to do without completely spamming the player with the hundreds of “This guy has signed in”

      • Esteban Granados

        Sounds good im down for that

      • http://www.andreatek.com/ AndreaTek

        Great idea, I agree !


        Exactly, You should definitely get an notification for favorites coming online. Not sure why we don’t have this feature already.

      • PCxMustRdxRcE

        Thats what favorites are for. Im glad they didnt prioritize that notification cause I know it would take them months to add a toggle function too it.

        I for one dont want hundreds of notifications a minute of people signing in lol

    • Chris Gosling

      I agree. Even if that option is a toggle on/off function or even just notifications of sign ins for favourites. I understand with 1000s of friends the notifications would never end. Maybe the option for only favourites to have these notifications. Too many times I lose game time with friends as I just don’t know they’re online. Navigating to friends and seeing who’s online (at present anyway) is a total pain in the backside. And roll on recent players, make it all the more easier to report rage quitters in FIFA XD.

    • beardyman3218

      I hope they do this for favourites only. Imagine people who have hundreds of friends the amount of pop-ups would be insane.

  • JVCode

    Loving the “Join Game” and “Invite to game” features, that’s what I most miss about the xbox features, also I’d like to see notifications when my friends come online. Otherwise awesome new features! good job.

  • http://www.Bl4ckSh33p.de/ Bl4ckSh33p

    Still coming on March 4 or will it be delayed like the previous update?

    • PCxMustRdxRcE

      Why would you even ask this question?

      If they say march 4th it means march 4th. If something happens that would delay it then it will or will not happen. I doubt major can just predict whether or not there will be turbulence.

  • Ismokedthebanditwithaheadshot

    More features that either should have been there at the start and were removed to give the impression of MS adding content.

    You really are spoiling us with these updates MS…How exciting! Some features we already had on the Xbox 360..

    • PCxMustRdxRcE

      Both the xbox one and ps4 were rushed out the door 6 months early. They both were lacking alot of functionality their previous gen forms had but sony is the one that jumped the ball and wanted to release in 2014. ms couldnt just ignore them and give them a huge headstart on next gen.

      Point is, the xbox one we got wasnt really finished thats why it was missing thing 360 already had.

      • http://soundcloud.com/ViRUSfromMARS Jaffa Cake King

        I would have rather waited a year so MS got everything right instead of them releasing an underpowered, dysfunctional system.

  • Nick King

    Will this include ‘teeWcee is online’ etc. or do I still have to go looking when friend logs on?

  • dibils

    when things are settled please bring GT app to the Xbox One

  • JubbaTheHott

    if i’m playing dead rising 3 and my friend is playing dead rising 3 and he sends me a party invite, i immediately join his party and get sucked into his game without options for me to accept or deny either action. this is crazy.

    • Simeon David Weller

      well if you watch the video it shows they are changing that! stop whining!

      • JubbaTheHott

        watched the video. i saw that it lets you specify whether you’re inviting someone to a party or to your game, but i didn’t notice that it said it will stop you from auto-accepting either of those invites.

        • Simeon David Weller

          yeah so if you select accept party invite you only go to his xbox party, if you select accept game invite you go to his game, etc. currently it only gives you the option to accept both or neither. the auto-accept thing doesnt exist? must be something youre doing

  • kvfive

    Lost interest to be honest !

    • PCxMustRdxRcE

      Yet your still posting about it !

      • kvfive

        And you’re replying !

  • Kieran

    I hope Microsoft just releases the March system update sooner than March 2th. If people are not reporting any issues just open it up for everyone by the weekend.

    Respawn had a selective beta at the start, but within a couple of days, it was open for everyone. Same thing should happen here!

    • PCxMustRdxRcE

      Operating system changes to major functions are no where NEAR beta openings lol. Respawn’s beta stuff was all server side changes and monitering. They werent releasing a patch to everyones xbox one.

      I will never understand why people with no knowledge of something try to piece together made up logic to justify their impatience.

  • Pidde

    Major Nelson are Dolby Digital coming to Xbox One or not?

    • Allan

      I think I’m missing something here, why not just use the uncompressed PCM thru HDMI? The bitrate is way higher and lossless. Or is this a fancy headphone thing? I’m not trolling, I’m just not sure why DD is being so highly requested. Someone enlighten me?

      • Bjørn Holm

        Almost all current surround headsets uses Dolby Digital via optical.
        That’s why we’ve been waiting for Dolby Digital since the Xbox One came out.
        I’m using a Tritton Warhead, and it sure hasn’t been fun only being able to use stereo with it.

        • Allan

          Ahhh I see.

  • super tomtendo

    I just wanna let everyone now that my Beta Preview for this March Update was giving to me today. So far, pretty good. Friends list is 10x better.

  • ilovegoogleglass

    I know I’m not supposed to talk about the update but THANK YOU FOR ADDING IN DOLBY DIGITAL!! YES!