The Xbox experience across devices is becoming more robust this week as we begin to roll out a host of new features. You’ll notice some old favorites—like avatars—making a comeback, and brand new features—like testing streaming—setting the stage for bigger things to come. Let’s jump in!

  • Xbox on Windows 10

Here’s a closer look at the great new features coming to Xbox on Windows 10 with this month’s Xbox app preview:

Avatars – You can now download and launch the Avatars app from within the Xbox app. After the app is installed, select Customize > Customize your avatar to launch the Avatars app and edit, dress up, and buy new items for your avatar.

Friends updates – We’re making it easier to add friends, designate them as favorites and share your name from the Xbox app. The friends list will also show you which of your friends are in a party, playing multiplayer games, or broadcasting. You can also report or block people from the Xbox app.

Game hubs – Similar to Xbox One, you can now view the game hub for an Xbox One game and view the activity feed curated by the game’s community manager. Click on any game tile, under Home > Recently played or elsewhere in the Xbox app, and you will be taken to the game hub.

Game DVR – You can now alter the keyboard shortcuts used for opening the Game Bar, starting and stopping recording, taking screenshots, and more. Also, you can now view and manage your cloud-based game clips from the Xbox app by selecting Game DVR > Shared.

Testing streaming – The Xbox team needs your help in providing information about your PC’s performance and connectivity characteristics as we prepare to enable game streaming from Xbox One to Windows 10 PCs. To do this, connect your Xbox One to your Windows 10 PC using the Xbox app: from the Connect menu, select your Xbox One console then choose Connect. Once connected, click on Test streaming to anonymously send the team diagnostic information about your PC and network settings.

Turn On/Off your Xbox One Console – The Connect menu in Xbox app has been updated to let you power your Xbox One on and off from your Windows 10 devices when they are on the same home network as your console.

The Xbox app will sign in using your primary Microsoft Account and associated gamertag that you use to sign into Windows 10. If you want to sign in with a different gamertag, you will need to set up a second Microsoft account on your Windows 10 PC. The ability to sign into the Xbox app with a different Microsoft Account/Xbox Profile will be re-enabled in a future update.

  • Xbox One updates

The Xbox team is gearing up for E3 in June and we’ve got some exciting things to share with you there, but first, this month we’re continuing to preview a few things while we gather feedback and work toward making them available to everyone.

Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in 11 new European countries – The team will continue to test the Xbox One Digital TV with our preview audience in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland, with plans to make it available to all customers in these countries later this summer. Earlier this week, we announced the retail availability of an over-the-air TV tuner for the U.S. & Canada as well.

Wireless Display app – We appreciate all the great feedback you’ve sent us and the team continues to make improvements to the Miracast functionality in the Wireless Display app based on that feedback. Keep it coming!

For more details about each of these features coming in the Preview update, check out the Xbox Wire.

We’ll continue to bring more great Xbox features your way on Xbox One and the Xbox app on Windows 10. Don’t forget to let us know what you think at Xbox Feedback.

Today, the Xbox app is available with the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build (build #10080) for phones. Once you’re on the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build on your phone, go to the Store Beta to download and check out an early preview version of the Xbox app. We’re excited to move toward bringing your favorite Xbox on Windows features to Windows 10 for phones.

With today’s version of the Xbox app on Windows 10 for phones, you can access your activity feed, achievements, friends list, activity alerts, messages, watch Game DVR clips, and connect to your Xbox One.  Over the coming weeks, we’ll update and add more Xbox features to the preview including OneGuide integration, Live TV Streaming, Game Hubs, and more. So stay tuned!

To join the Windows 10 Insider program, go here to sign up, then download the Windows Insider app to your Lumia phone, choose either a fast or slow ring and get the updates. For more information, check out Gabe Aul’s post on the Windows Blog.

Thanks to your continued feedback, a new month means we get to deliver a new set of fan-requested features on Xbox One. We’re streamlining your gaming experiences even more this time around, whether you’re looking for an easier way to power up the console or connect with distant friends in real time through voice messaging.

Let’s dive into the full list of features rolling out today in the May system update:

Voice Messages – You can now send and receive voice messages from the Xbox One messages app. This is the No. 1 feature requested in the Friends and Parties area on the Xbox Feedback site > “Add audio message …”

Power On/Off from Xbox One SmartGlass – The Xbox One SmartGlass app for Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android are being updated to let you power your Xbox One on and off when your devices are on the same home network as your console.

User Selectable Power Mode – We are also altering the initial setup experience on Xbox One worldwide to enable you to select your preferred power mode between Instant-on or Energy-saving mode.

Dedicated Servers for Party Chat – We will start to expand the availability of the party chat relay services beyond preview members to a broader audience as we continue to fine tune the feature and scale out the servers needed to support party chat relay services.

Fore more information on the Xbox One May System Update, read this article at Xbox Wire.

Keep the suggestions coming at Xbox Feedback, and we’ll continue to make Xbox One the best place to game.

Larry Hryb @majornelson

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The Xbox 360 received a system update today implementing a number of features showcased to Xbox 360 Preview program members earlier this month including one of the most requested features voted on at the Xbox Feedback website for larger external storage for the Xbox 360. Today’s update includes this feature and more.

Larger external USB hard drives – Plug in any external USB hard drive up to 2 TB to store your Xbox 360 downloads, profile, saved games, and other data.

Purchase history – To view your recent purchases, go to Settings > Account >Purchase History.

Password reset  You can now reset your password by selecting Forgot your password? at sign-in.

Network statistics – View  download speed, upload speed, and signal strength, go to Settings> System > Network Settings. Select your network, and then choose Network Statistics.

See your money – Your Microsoft account balance now appears in the top-right corner of the Xbox Dashboard. To turn it off, go to Settings > Profile > Account Security.

Read more about Xbox 360 operating system versions and system updates.

As a reminder, the best way to recommend changes and improvements to the Xbox One or 360 is through the Xbox Feedback website. We appreciate your feedback and continue to work on improving the Xbox experience.

Xbox keeps getting better with more new features coming to preview this month for both Xbox One consoles and the Xbox app on Windows 10. We’re making the Xbox app more social, while also giving you more control over your Xbox experience. Also, this month we are delivering several new fan-requested features to the Xbox One console and Xbox One SmartGlass.

  • Xbox on Windows 10

Let’s take a closer look at what’s coming to Xbox on Windows 10 with this month’s Xbox app preview and Windows Insider updates from the Windows team. We know you love recording and sharing game clips and screenshots, so this month we spent time enabling that feature on Windows 10.

Game DVR for PC games – The Game bar lets you record game clips of your favorite Windows games.

Screenshots – Take screenshots of Windows PC games by pressing Windows + Alt + PrtScr. Just as with Game DVR, you can also do this by clicking the “Screenshot” button on the Game bar.

Live Tiles – The Xbox tile on your Windows 10 start menu now welcomes you back, showing off your gamerpic and letting you know when you have new messages and activity alerts.

Avatar app – A new app is available in the Windows Store to customize your Xbox avatar’s appearance and outfit your avatar with a vast collection of items.

User profile – You can see another gamer’s bio, location, reputation, tenure, and other information in the more info page, including their animated avatar.

Real name sharing – Similar to the features we brought you in the March update on Xbox One, you can now choose to share your real name on the Xbox app with all of your friends or with everybody.

In addition to keeping you connected to your games and friends, we’re giving you even more control over the Xbox experience on Windows 10.

Xbox One Now Playing and media controls – The games and apps you’ve used most recently on your Xbox One are now displayed when you connect the Xbox app to your console. You can also use the Xbox app to pause, fast forward and rewind.

Live TV streaming and PIP (picture in picture) support – For preview members with an Xbox One Digital TV Tuner (in 16 European countries and Australia) or a Hauppauge 955Q TV Tuner (available in the U.S. or Canada) attached to their Xbox One, you can now stream live TV within your home from your Xbox One to Windows 10 PC running the Xbox app.

Xbox controller drivers – The drivers for Xbox controllers are now included with Windows 10, so you no longer have to download and install controller drivers on Windows 10.

The Xbox app will automatically update to the April preview version when it becomes available in the Windows Store. Once you receive the update, your version number should be 4.4.9014.0 or higher. You can verify the version number of the Xbox app in Settings.

  • Xbox One and SmartGlass updates

The Xbox team continues to work hard to bring the many fan-requested features on the Xbox Feedback site to Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass, with the following items being available to preview members this month:

Over-the-air TV for the U.S. and Canada – Earlier this month, we announced the preview for an Over-the-Air Tuner for the U.S. and Canada.

Power on and off from Xbox One SmartGlass – The beta versions of the Xbox One SmartGlass apps for Windows, Windows Phone and Android will be updated to let you turn your Xbox One on and off.

Wireless Display app – Try the Wireless Display app to cast photos stored on your phone to your Xbox One, or to stream non-protected video content from your PC to your Xbox.

User-selectable power mode – Select your preferred power mode, either Instant-on or Energy-saving mode.

Voice messages – The ability to send and receive voice messages from the Xbox One messages app continues in preview this month.

For more details about each of these features, check out the full story at Xbox Wire. And stay tuned for more great Xbox features coming your way on Xbox One and the Xbox app on Windows 10.

Don’t forget to let us know what you think at Xbox Feedback.

Back in March we announced the Preview Program would expand to the Xbox 360 and work much like the Xbox One Preview Program – selected members would be able to sign-up directly from their Xbox 360 and once registered, have the opportunity to install system updates and experience the new or improved features before they release to the general audience. One of the most requested features at the Xbox Feedback website was for larger external storage for the Xbox 360.

The next update for Xbox 360 Preview Program members will allow the use of 2TB hard drives to store Xbox 360 data. If you are not part of the Preview program you will get this functionality later this year. In addition we will also no longer reserve space in advance on your hard drive.  If you are using 16GB of hard drive space for games – we will only take 16GB of space. And just like today – you will be able to use two external drives at a time.

Note: Some drives may be incompatible or have performance issues. If you already have space reserved for storing Xbox 360 data, you will need to clear the Xbox 360 storage to gain full access to the drive. If you are in the Preview program, please review the list of known issues before formatting your drive.

As a reminder, the best way to recommend changes and improvements to the Xbox One or 360 is through the Xbox Feedback website. We appreciate your feedback and continue to work on improving the Xbox experience.

The April system update is rolling out today, bringing you another round of new features that will make your favorite Xbox One experiences even better. Whether you want easier access to game content, troubleshooting help with party chat or improved achievement notifications, we’ve got something for everyone this month.

Check out the full list of features rolling out below:

• Party chat improvements – Additional icons and notifications within the party chat experience to help you understand your connection and microphone status. The party app will help you get your microphone enabled and show you when privacy settings or networking issues are blocking communication with particular party members.

• Game hub links – You’ll see activity feed items when any of your friends follow a game, and you’ll also be able to get back to a game’s hub from activity feed posts related to the game – including feed items about the game’s achievements, game clips and screenshots.

• Achievement notifications – With this update, you’ll also see the achievement’s description in the notification so you know what you did to earn this achievement without having to open the achievements app.

• What’s On – The What’s On area is now available for Xbox One users in the U.S., Canada, and the UK. In it, you’ll find links to popular videos, games, movies, TV shows, game broadcasts and clips, along with Trending TV shows if you have configured OneGuide for your Xbox One console.

We are keeping voice messaging and dedicated servers for party chat in preview as we continue to fine-tune them based on feedback from preview program members.

We have more great features coming your way on Xbox One, so please continue to send us your feedback and stay tuned for more details.

You may have noticed a few new features that rolled out to preview over the weekend, including game hub links and more detailed achievement notifications. Now this week, we’re bringing even more features to Xbox One in Preview, making it easier to keep in touch with friends on Xbox One or Xbox 360.

Check out the list below for features in the April preview update that are starting to roll out tonight:

  • Voice messages – Xbox One preview program members will be able to compose and playback voice messages in the messages app when snapped on Xbox One. Quickly and easily record audio to send to your friends or others through your snapped messages app accessed through a simple quick double tap of the Xbox button. Additionally, voice messages can be exchanged between Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles.
  •  Dedicated servers for party chat – We’re enhancing party chat with dedicated chat relay servers that will enable Xbox One owners that may have historically had NAT issues to party chat more reliably. Parties where players are unable to form direct peer-to-peer connections for party chat will automatically leverage dedicated server infrastructure to relay traffic. This service is only enabled for parties where one or more members are previewing the April system update.
  • What’s On – The Xbox engineering team is continuing to experiment with the What’s On area, which highlights popular videos, movies, TV shows and game broadcasts. We’re continuing to test different experiences for preview members in the U.S. and this month, the preview of this feature is being expanded to Canada and the UK as well.

Keep sending us your feedback and we’ll keep working on bringing you the latest and greatest features on Xbox One.

This month, we’re rolling out updates to our Xbox One Preview program members in two waves, with the first set coming today and more to come next week. Check out the list below for features in this first April system update preview that is starting to roll out this afternoon:

  • Party chat improvements – Party chat is being improved with troubleshooting guidance for Xbox One owners. The Party App will help you get your microphone enabled and show you when privacy settings or networking issues are blocking communication with particular party members.
  •  Game hub links – Members can more easily discover game hub content from activity feed items. You’ll see activity feed items when any of your friends follow a game, and you’ll also be able to get back to a game’s hub from activity feed posts related to the game – including feed items about the game’s achievements, game clips and screenshots. Finally, we’ve added a link to game hubs from the game’s page in the achievements app.
  •  Achievement notifications – With this preview release, you’ll also see the achievement’s description in the notification so you know what you did to earn this achievement without having to open the achievements app. If you do choose to open up the notification to see the achievement details, we’ve also made some performance improvements to make loading the achievements app from a notification faster.

Stay tuned next week for the second wave with even more great features coming to Xbox One Preview program members. As always, thanks for your feedback.