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Today the May Xbox One update arrives for gamers around the world.  As part of our ongoing effort to continually improve the Xbox experience, we’ve got a feature-packed update that enables you to get even more out of your console with some exciting new features. Here’s what’s new:

Connect with Gamers Across Xbox Live and Discord

In response to your feedback, you now have the option to link your Discord account to your Xbox account, making it easier than ever to see what your friends are playing. Starting from the Discord app on PC or on a mobile device, you will see an option to link your Xbox account with your Discord account through the Connections tab under User Settings. Click on the Xbox Live option and sign in to your account. After enabling permission, your accounts will be linked. Starting from your Xbox One, open the Account Settings menu and select “Linked social accounts.” Here, you will see a new option for linking your Discord account. Once you receive your unique code from Xbox, open the Discord app and insert the code within the Connections tab. After following these few simple steps, your accounts will be linked and your Xbox Live presence will be shared across Discord, enabling friends and users in your same Discord servers to see what you are playing on Xbox Live.

120Hz Video Refresh Rate Support

Console owners already enjoy variable refresh rates, the option of 1440p resolution, and auto low latency mode (read more about that here).  In this update, we’re adding support for additional panel refresh rates. Gamers using monitors and televisions that support a 120Hz refresh rate can now turn on 120Hz support for 1080p and 1440p output resolutions on Xbox One S and Xbox One X. This high refresh rate option means you can now take full advantage of displays with 120Hz capabilities. High refresh rate support can provide a smoother gaming experience and lower latency on some displays, and games may benefit from reduced tearing and stuttering via 120Hz output.

Trim Clips Directly in the Guide

With the April Xbox Update, we added a new sharing feature that helps gamers upload their captured screenshots and videos directly to Twitter. Now, sharing is getting even quicker! With the May update, you can trim your recent game captures directly from the Guide, so you won’t need to switch to Upload Studio to make a quick cut to your saved clips.

Improved Family Settings

Xbox One continues to help parents keep their families safe with updates to family settings. We’re adding a “Details” page where parents can easily find and manage all family settings on Xbox One. Parents will easily be able to tell which family and content settings are set up and configured. Important settings that are turned off or require attention will be flagged for parents, as well. Some settings, such as activity reports and Screen Time Limits, can only be accessed through the web: We’ll identify those settings and provide links where parents can easily set them up.

New Intuitive Button Commands

Some of the button commands throughout the dashboard are being refreshed for easier navigation. For example, you can now use the “View” button on Home to edit the order of blocks or reorder items within Groups.  Pressing the “View” button on the main tab of the Guide will also now display additional capture options. Note: If you group your collections in My Games & Apps by letter, you will now need to select a letter to view all groups.

Improvements to the Xbox Accessories App

The Xbox Accessories app has been modernized to make it easier to navigate, and to look and feel more consistent with the rest of the Xbox One dashboard.

And lastly, a special shout out to the Xbox Insiders who have helped shape these features.  If you’d like to help shape the future of Xbox and get access to early features, download the Xbox Insider Hub app on your Xbox One or Windows 10 PC.  You can also visit the Xbox Insider blog here for release notes and to learn more.

 

April is here, and it comes with a feature-packed update to Xbox One. We unveiled some of these new features on the premiere episode of Inside Xbox last month (and I did a walk through of the features on Inside Xbox episode 2). This month, we’re announcing that they’ll become available to Xbox One owners around the world over the next few days. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:

Video & Display

We’ve added a bunch of new video features we hope you’ll enjoy, starting with Auto Low-Latency Mode (or ALLM for short). Auto Low-Latency Mode enables the family of Xbox One devices to notify your display when you’re playing a game, so a TV that also supports ALLM will know to switch to its low latency video mode. Many displays refer to low latency mode as “game mode.”

Gamers will also enjoy the newly introduced support for variable refresh rate output to AMD Radeon FreeSync and FreeSync 2 compatible displays. AMD Radeon FreeSync is a form of variable refresh rate which helps to reduce input latency and minimize display stuttering, delivering a buttery-smooth visual gameplay experience in your favorite games. The entire Xbox One family of devices will work with FreeSync-certified displays. Xbox One S and Xbox One X will also support high dynamic range with AMD Radeon FreeSync 2.

In addition, Xbox One X and Xbox One S now support output at 2560 x 1440 (1440p) resolution for games and media. With over a million and a half more pixels than 1080p, this resolution offers even more choice between Full HD and 4K displays. This feature should be especially appealing to Xbox One owners who use a 1440p display for PC gaming. Media apps can now add an option for 1440p output for on both Xbox One X and Xbox One S.  Developers can also now enable games to run at native 1440p resolution on Xbox One X.

You can enable all these video options from the Settings menu on your Xbox One.  Just navigate to “Display & Sound,” then “Video Output.” Note that you’ll only be able to turn on these settings if your TV or monitor supports them.

Streaming & Captures

This month, we’re also introducing a new Mixer Interactive feature called Share Controller. Mixer streamers on Xbox One can now share control of their game with a viewer on Mixer.com. Just turn on the “Share Controller” toggle from the Broadcast & Capture section in Guide and your viewers will be able to share control through a virtual controller in their web browser, or by plugging a physical controller into their PC.

You can also now start Mixer broadcasts from anywhere on Xbox One, making streaming easier than ever. If you decide to switch games or exit to the dashboard, your viewers will see a pause animation until you jump back into a game. You will also see a pause animation on your broadcasting status bar on your screen.

In addition, you can now share captured screenshots and clips directly to Twitter, after authenticating your account, from the Broadcast & Capture tab of the Guide. Shared captures will now display and play directly in your Twitter feed instead of showing up as a link. We’ll also help you get your content discovered by suggesting a hashtag for the title of the game. Want to follow clips shared by Xbox gamers? Track clips with the #XboxShare hashtag!

Xbox Insiders have seen this option for a while, but now everyone can choose to switch between light and dark themes on your Xbox One based on the time of day. You can also personalize your theme to automatically transition from dark to light based on sunrise and sunset in your location. We’ve also added a new high-contrast light theme option, which makes on-screen elements easier to see.

Audio & Ease of Access

Based on fan feedback, we’re making additional improvements to Narrator on Xbox One. Narrator volume can now be adjusted independently from system audio volume. We’ve also introduced a new input learning mode to the Narrator menu. With input learning mode enabled, the Narrator on Xbox One will say the name of whatever button you press on an attached input device. High contrast light theme and narrator options can both be adjusted in the Ease of Access menu in Settings.

If you love to stream music while gaming, you will be happy to hear that you can now selectively balance game audio against background music within the Guide. Simply navigate down to the app that is playing background music in the Guide. Press “A” to open a new flyout with additional music controls, including a new slider that will allow you to adjust the balance of background music and game audio.

We’ve also made audio enhancements in the Xbox One dashboard itself. System sounds on Home and in the Guide have been completely revamped to support spatial audio, so the audio cues from your surround sound system will match the actions you see on-screen.

Apps

The Microsoft Edge browser on Xbox One has been updated to a more modern look and feel. Enhancements to history and favorites make it easy for you to get back to your favorite sites. Other new features include tab muting, read aloud and autofill. You can also now download and upload pictures, music, and videos from Microsoft Edge on Xbox One; your downloaded content can then be browsed with the File Explorer app.

Clubs, Game Hubs & Tournaments

Community tournaments are now available directly in Game Hubs for supported games. This means you no longer need to own or be the admin of a club to create a tournament.  To get started, open the Game Hub for a game that supports tournaments.  Head to the “Multiplayer” tab and select “Community tournaments” then choose the option for “Create tournament.”

Club feeds have also gained new filters to show you “what’s new,” “what’s hot” or “top posts.” Additionally, you can now lock the comments on your feed posts across clubs, Game Hubs, and Community, so the only person in control of the narrative is you.

If you’re a club owner or admin, you can now filter invitation requests based on several criteria, including Gamerscore, play time, reputation, Xbox Live Gold status, and recommendations from club members. Club invitation filters will persist until the administrator changes them, so if you set or edit club invitation filters, they will still be there the next time you sign-in.

In addition to all these new features on Xbox One, a subset of users may also see additional experimental features that we didn’t mention here. These features are only enabled for a portion of the Xbox audience to gauge interest and collect feedback.

Many of our Xbox Insiders have already had the chance to play with these features. If you would like to join them, getting started as an Xbox Insider is easy! Just download the Xbox Insider Hub app on your Xbox One or Windows 10 PC and select your desired ring. Visit the Xbox Insider blog here for release notes.

Pure PoolContent: Pure Pool Snooker Bundle 
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: Get ready for the most authentic billiards experience you’ve ever witnessed from the comfort of your couch! Whether you prefer to spend your time refining your Pool skills or weighing up against the competition in an online Snooker game, take your best shot and prepare to be blown away. This bundle includes: Pure Pool, base game and Snooker pack.

Purchase Pure Pool Snooker Bundle for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Product Info:
Developer: VooFoo Studios
Publisher: Ripstone Ltd
Website: Pure Pool 
Twitter: @VooFoo / @RipstoneGames

Bradley, Xbox Insider Team Lead, posted details about a new update rolling out to Alpha Insiders. Details below:

Last week, we brought several new features to both Preview Alpha and Beta, and today we’re pushing a new update (1802.180119-1917) to our Alpha Insiders. Alpha Insiders will begin seeing this new update at 2 p.m. PT along with a new “Xbox Games Pass” tab in “My Games & apps” and several fixes. Full details can be found below.

New Features:

My Games and Apps Collection – Game Pass

  • We have enabled a new feature to show an “Xbox Game Pass” tab within “My games & apps” for users on Preview Alpha with an active Game Pass subscription. If someone has an active Game Pass subscription, they will see this tab appear in “My games & apps” and will be able to quickly install available games from Game Pass. It works just like “Ready to install” but for Game Pass. For users in Preview Alpha who do not have Game Pass, they will see the updated left navigation—section dividers added and Memberships tab has moved.

Achievements

  • With the build today we’ve added the ability to hide/unhide a specific achievement or entire game from the Next Achievements section.

Fixes:

Profile

  • Fixed an issue that caused the incorrect profile color to display after powering on the console.

Installation and Achievements

  • Resolved an issue that sometimes caused the console to get stuck at a loading screen (with a loading spinner only) when downloading a system update.

Party Chat

  • Resolved an issue that sometimes caused party chat to crash in the Guide.

Known Issues:

Home

  • You may be unable to add/remove/edit content blocks by pressing Y.

System Setup – Kinect

  • When setting up a Kinect during the initial console set-up experience, the setup fails when tuning audio.

Network Transfer

  • The network transfer fails when initiated from a console on 1802 (this update). Workaround: You can perform a network transfer using an 1802 console as the  source and initiating the network transfer from a 1711 console on the same network.

Pseudo-Localization

  • You may notice strange characters which replace normal translated text on the dashboard, Guide, and other areas. Please use Report a problem when you encounter these issues.

Games Installation

  • Games that are installed fail to launch. Workaround: If the games are installed to an external drive please copy the game to the internal drive or attempt to delete the title and redownload to fix the launch error.

Display 

  • We are investigating the inaccurate RGB colors that have been reported when displaying in 4K HDR mode when playing a UHD disc.

Tournaments

  • The left and right navigation for selecting date and time during Tournament creation is currently reversed when the console language is set to Arabic or Hebrew.
  • Left and right navigation in Tournament twists is reversed when the console language is set to Arabic or Hebrew.
  • Left and right navigation in the bracket view of Tournaments is reversed when the console language is set to Arabic or Hebrew

Avatars on Home

  • Users wishing to represent themselves as an avatar can do so by changing their settings under My profile > Customize profile > Show my avatar.

Larry Hryb @majornelson

More @majornelson on Twitter

Bradley, Xbox Insider Team Lead, shared some updates coming to Xbox Insiders. Details below:

We’re excited to return in 2018 with new features that impact the way you access your games and Achievements, how you let your friends know whether you’re available to play, and much more. Over the next several weeks, Xbox Insiders will begin to see a variety of cool new features they can interact with and provide feedback on. Here’s a look forward at some of the excitement still to come:

*Starting today at 6 p.m. PST, Xbox Insiders enrolled in the Alpha ring will receive the latest Xbox One system update (1802.180105-1503). With this update, you’ll be able to use the “Next Achievements” feature in the Guide, which enables you to view and sort a cross-games list of upcoming Achievements. Easily see which Achievements you are closest to, and quickly launch the game to obtain them. Sort filters allow you to prioritize next Achievements by closest, most common, rarest, most common rare, and highest Gamerscore.

*Mini Game Hubs will soon be available right in the Guide. With this feature, you’ll be able to access great content for the games you’ve played recently from a Game Hub without ever having to leave the action. Mini Game Hubs provide an easy way to see friends who are currently playing, upcoming Achievements, Looking for Group posts, and more.

*Sometimes all you want to do is avoid all distractions and focus entirely on your game. We’ll be including a “Do not disturb” online status, which will suppress notifications and let your friends know that you’re not available for another game or activity right now.

Comments in Community*We’re tweaking the community feed to make it easier to view comments. You’ll soon be able to see a peek of the most recent comment on community posts while viewing the activity in full screen. Comments are also being rearranged to place those that are most recent at the top. You’ll also be able to see who has liked your comments.

*To address user feedback, we’re adding additional inactivity shutdown options to the Power mode & startup menu. In addition to shutting down the console after one or six hours of inactivity, you will be able to select options for two, three, four and five hours.

*Put your themes on a schedule! You’ll soon be able to switch between light and dark themes based on time of day.

Alongside the updates listed above, which will work their way naturally through the Xbox One Update Preview rings, a subset of users may also see additional experimental features. These features are only enabled for a portion of the Xbox Insider audience to gauge interest and collect feedback. Your participation in the Xbox Insider Program helps us make the work-in-progress content and features coming to Xbox even better.

Editor’s Note: Scheduled themes was added to the list of features on 1/9.

For more Xbox Insider news, check out the Xbox Insider portal at Xbox Wire.

Don’t miss this post that shows all the Xbox digital games on sale for Black Friday. In addition to those deals there are also deals on Xbox consoles making it a great time to pick up an Xbox One.

 

Via the Microsoft store:

Get an Xbox One S AND a free select game + one month of Game Pass for $189 (While supplies last)

 

Meanwhile, via Amazon

Get an Xbox One S for $189 today (Lowest price of the year. Save $90)

 

All offers are while supplies last. Regional offers may differ. Check your local retailer for offers.

James Shields, Global Product Marketing Manager at Xbox, discusses Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos Spatial Sound.

This holiday, not only can you play your games on Xbox One X, the world’s most powerful console, but you also have a broad and diverse lineup of new games to experience – including Forza Motorsport 7, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Assassins’s Creed Origins, Super Lucky’s Tale, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. While the power of Xbox One X will immerse you in the beautiful visuals of your games, you can take that immersion even further by simply enabling spatial sound for your headphones or compatible home theater system. By using Windows Sonic or Dolby Atmos spatial sound, you’ll hear your games in a whole new way.

What is Spatial Sound?

Spatial sound is an enhanced audio experience where sounds can flow around, above, and below you in a three-dimensional virtual space that simulates a more realistic environment. Spatial sound provides an immersive atmosphere that traditional channel-based surround sound formats cannot replicate. Imagine playing Gears of War 4 and a Raven helicopter flies overhead. With surround sound, you’d hear the helicopter flying around you, but with spatial sound, you’ll hear it flying directly above you.

Spatial Audio Feature Feature Image

What is Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos?

Both Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos are technologies that enable spatial sound on your Xbox One and Windows 10 devices. They both provide support for immersive surround and elevation audio cues. Windows Sonic is Microsoft’s platform-level solution for spatial sound. As the platform evolves, it will support more endpoints and different technologies.

How do I enable them on Xbox One?

Windows Sonic for Headphones, Dolby Atmos for Headphones, and Dolby Atmos for home theater are the three audio formats available on your Xbox One to experience the immersion benefits mentioned above.

Windows Sonic for Headphones and Dolby Atmos for Headphones both enable spatial sound for all headphones, earbuds, and audio headsets. Windows Sonic for Headphones is available out of the box, while Dolby Atmos for Headphones is $14.99 USD and provides additional support for Dolby Atmos movies. To enable either of these on your Xbox One, navigate to [Settings > All settings > Display & sound > Audio output > Headset format] and select either Windows Sonic for Headphones or Dolby Atmos for Headphones. If you select Dolby Atmos for Headphones, you will be prompted to install the Dolby Access app and either purchase Dolby Atmos for Headphones or start a free 30-day trial.

Dolby Atmos for home theater can be experienced for free through your Dolby Atmos supported home theater system, sound bar, or TV. To enable on your Xbox One, install and open the Dolby Access app, and follow the instructions provided.

Which headsets work with Spatial Sound on Xbox One?

Xbox gamers can use any Xbox supported headset to take advantage of spatial sound. If your headphones support other virtualization or equalization audio technologies, it is important you turn these features off to avoid double processing.

If you’re picking up a new headset, we recommend checking out the latest Xbox Wireless headsets such as Turtle Beach STEALTH 700 or Razer Thresher, which will connect directly to your Xbox One without the need for wires, a base station, or an adapter. For Dolby fans, it’s worth noting that the Plantronics RIG 400LX, RIG 600LX, and RIG 800LX each come with a Dolby Atmos for Headphones Xbox activation code in the box.

What games and movies support Spatial Sound?

Any traditional surround sound content is automatically upscaled with Windows Sonic or Dolby Atmos to provide an enhanced audio experience – making that content more immersive than before. Games that natively support Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos offer the highest level of audio immersion and location accuracy, including Gears of War 4, Super Lucky’s Tale, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Assassin’s Creed Origins. Additionally, there are over 250 movies for Dolby Atmos that you can watch on Blu-ray, UHD Blu-ray, or on major streaming services such as Netflix, Vudu, and Microsoft’s own Movies & TV app.

This holiday, experience your games and movies in full audio immersion by enabling spatial sound with Windows Sonic or Dolby Atmos on your Xbox One or Windows 10 PC.

When you pick up your Xbox One X on November 7, you’ll experience many of the latest cutting-edge technology features that will be focused in gaming for years to come like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range, or HDR as it’s better known, as well as Spatial Audio. To help showcase these new features to you, even if you may not have the 4K display to run, we developed an interactive video known as “Insects.”

Originally developed by the Xbox Advanced Technology Group for game developers, “Insects” was designed to help teams easily see and hear just how the dramatic the differences can be between the various technologies.

Over time, the team realized how fun and effective the experience was, and so we’re making it publicly available the same day that Xbox One X launches, on November 7 to be viewed on your console. “Insects” will be available to download from the Microsoft Store on your console.

If you don’t have an Xbox One X to experience this interactive video, we have included a variety of screenshots here that showcase all the elements of the video to give you a sense of what features like HDR and 4K bring to your games.

On Xbox One X, the beauty of “Insects” is the option to toggle between the various formats. Once you’ve completed the initial Guided Tour, you can, at any time, turn 4K on or off, as well as HDR and Spatial Audio. You can also pause the experience and zoom in on various elements.

Better yet, you can even change the time of day and alter the colors of the ladybug and flowers, all while toggling 4K, HDR, and Spatial Audio on or off to your heart’s delight. Also, if you download Insects on an Xbox One X and display it on a 1080p display, switching 4K mode on and off will showcase super-sampling in all its beauty.

If you really want to dig into the details, you can even use Pixel Highlighting to show you what areas of the scene are being affected by HDR or Wide Color Gamut. We think you’ll find it remarkable to see the detail pop into focus when you turn 4K back on, or see the range of detail and color when you do the same with HDR. Our personal favorite is switching HDR on and off at night and looking at the moon. It’s such a simple, but great illustration of the technology.

We hope you enjoy the “Insects” video experience on Xbox One X and we can’t wait for you to feel true power when the world’s most powerful console launches on November 7.