Following an info-rich X018 event with a ton of announcements, we’re releasing some new Xbox One features that start rolling out today. The November 2018 Xbox Update adds new ways to play some of your favorite games with mouse and keyboard support, more console interaction with Xbox Skill updates, listen to your favorite songs with the new Amazon Music app, and the ability to find your games faster than ever via improved Search. Here’s a rundown of what’s new:

Mouse and Keyboard Support for Xbox One

As revealed by Phil Spencer on the September episode of Inside Xbox, the November update brings mouse and keyboard support to Xbox One! With support for mouse and keyboard, developers can now choose to add mouse and keyboard support for their games on Xbox One. This enables both developers and players with more choice on how they want to play.

Announced at X018, Fortnite will be one of the first titles to support mouse and keyboard input, matchmaking players using the same input together with one another to ensure a fair and fun experience for everyone. Fortnite’s support for keyboard and mouse launches alongside previously announced Warframe via today’s update, with Bomber Crew, Deep Rock Galactic, Strange Brigade, Vermintide 2, War Thunder and X-Morph Defense adding support in November, and Children of Morta, DayZ, Minion Master, Moonlighter, Vigor, Warface, and Wargroove adding support in the future.

Additionally, we’re partnering with Razer to offer gamers a premiere mouse and keyboard experience through an all new Razer-created ‘Designed for Xbox’ mouse and keyboard. Built from the ground up for gaming on Xbox One and Windows 10, it will come equipped with a dedicated Xbox key, and support for the new Xbox Dynamic Lighting capability – enabling immersive game-controlled lighting effects.

Try out mouse and keyboard in some of your favorite games today and be sure to tune into CES in January to learn more about the ‘Designed for Xbox’ mouse and keyboard coming from Razer.

Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa Updates

Launched in the U.S. last month, the Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa allows gamers to get more done using just their voice. This feature will continue to grow and improve over time, based on fan feedback. Coming this week, we have the first set of updates:

*Alexa Beta for the U.K. (EN-GB): The Xbox Skill for Alexa is now in Beta for all Xbox gamers in the U.K. with the addition of U.K. English voice recognition. To get started with Alexa, just say, “Alexa, open Xbox.”

*Cortana improvements: In the U.S, the Xbox Skill for Cortana becomes easier to use. Cortana will automatically discover and pair your Xbox, so there’s no need to login. Just say “Hey Cortana, pair my Xbox” to any Cortana device (mobile phone or Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker). Try your favorite commands, like “Hey Cortana, start Netflix” or “Hey Cortana, pause my Xbox.” Get started with the latest Cortana on Android or Cortana on iOS app this week.

*New Commands added: In response to fan feedback, we’re adding a few new commands to both the Cortana and Alexa skill. Now, you have the ability to fully close a game or app via “Quit [game or app name]” or use your assistant as a controller with our new navigation mode. This lets you use your voice to hit the “A” button or navigate around your console (e.g. up, down, left, right, A button, B button). Just say “Start navigation mode” or “Press [button name]” to try it out!

 Amazon Music app comes to Xbox One

Amazon Music is launching a brand-new app for Xbox One in the U.S. on Nov. 14th, with availability in more countries coming soon. The Amazon Music app for Xbox enables Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers to stream more than 50 million songs and thousands of playlists and stations through their Xbox One family of devices. Prime members can also use the app to stream more than two million songs and hundreds of playlists and stations at no additional cost to their membership with Prime Music. Download the new Amazon Music app from the Store today!

Search Expansion

We’re expanding search to include results from Xbox Assist and games you have “Ready to Install” or currently own as part of your memberships, including Xbox Game Pass, EA Access, and more! This makes it easier than ever to find the game you are looking for and start playing.

These updates are available because of the Xbox Insiders who have helped shape these features, so big thanks to all of you for your valuable input. If you’d like to help create the future of Xbox and get access to early features, download the Xbox Insider Hub app on your Xbox One or Windows 10 PC today. You can also visit the Xbox Insider Blog here for the latest release notes and to learn more. Enjoy the November 2018 Xbox Update and happy gaming!

 

If we could pull your attention away from exploring the beautiful scenery and becoming a Horizon Superstar in historic Britain with Forza Horizon 4, we have some new Xbox One features to share. The October 2018 Xbox Update adds new ways to express yourself with Avatars, interact with your console with Voice Skills, and enjoy your favorite streaming content. Here’s a rundown of what’s new:

New Xbox Avatars

The new Xbox Avatars are expressive, creative and, most importantly, bring to life the community of fans they represent. The Avatar Editor features a wide range of body types, and the entire Avatar closet supports all of them, enabling you to uniquely tailor your Avatar however you see fit.

Avatars will appear across your Xbox One.  You will see your own Avatar on your profile, as well as the profile pages of anyone who has chosen to represent themselves as an Avatars. You’ll also find Avatars on activity feed posts, Friend blocks on the Home screen, Gamerscore leaderboards, club headers, profile comparisons, and more. In addition to all the items that are available at launch, we also have a new Avatar Store where you can obtain even more new Avatar items, including licensed designs from Halo, Gears of War, and more. With new content every month, the Avatar Store is a diverse marketplace of clothing, outfits, props, and accessories to make your Avatar even more unique.

Once you’ve created your new Avatar, you can use the Photobooth feature to capture a great photo of your Avatar to use as your Gamerpic.  In addition to the mood that you set for your Avatar, you can also use the Photobooth to pose your Avatar using a multitude of different emotes, each of which can be paused and advanced frame-by-frame with more control than ever before. Rotate and zoom controls help you capture the exact pose that you’re looking for, and a wide variety of background colors enable you to set the scene.

If you prefer your Xbox Original Avatar, that’s okay too! The new Xbox Avatar Editor also enables you to compare and choose which version of the Xbox Avatar best represents how you want to be seen on Xbox Live. If you choose to represent yourself as an Xbox Original Avatar, all the content from your Xbox Original avatar’s closet continues to be available via the Xbox Original Avatars app on Xbox One and Windows 10.

Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa

The Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa is available today in the U.S. This feature enables people to use their voice to navigate and interact with Xbox through Cortana and Alexa-enabled devices – expanding voice navigation beyond previous Kinect and headset capabilities. With the Xbox Skill, people can use voice commands to power on/off their console, adjust volume, launch games and apps, start and stop broadcasts on Mixer, capture screenshots, and more. For example, if you have the Xbox skill enabled on your Echo just say “Alexa, launch Forza Horizon 4” and this command will automatically turn on your console, sign you in, and launch Forza Horizon 4. Look for the Xbox Skill in the Alexa Skill Store or the Cortana Skill Store to get started. To set up Alexa, just say, “Alexa, open Xbox” and to set up Cortana, just say, “Hey Cortana, open Xbox”, or search for “Xbox” in the assistant skill store. To learn more about this new feature, see our previous post.

Additionally, in the coming days in the U.S., anyone who buys a qualified Xbox One S or Xbox One X bundle at Amazon.com will also get a new Amazon Echo Dot, but don’t wait too long because this offer is only available while supplies last.

Dolby Vision video streaming on Xbox One

Xbox is committed to bringing rich entertainment options to our fans. Today we are excited to launch our latest entertainment option, Dolby Vision™ HDR video streaming support across Xbox One S and Xbox One X! Dolby Vision enables select TVs to deliver enhanced HDR with dynamic scene-by-scene precision and accuracy versus standard HDR, which is static for the entire movie/show you are watching. If you have a TV that supports the latest version of Dolby Vision and a Premium Netflix subscription, jump in and experience incredible brightness, contrast, and color for yourself today! Dolby Vision on Netflix with a premium subscription will be supported at launch with more Dolby Vision apps adding support in the coming months.

To enable Dolby Vision on your console, navigate to Settings -> Display and sound -> Video output -> Video modes -> Allow Dolby Vision. If you need more assistance setting up the feature or want more information on supported TVs, check out this blog post.

New languages for Narrator

Xbox is committed to being more accessible and inclusive. Today we are adding five additional languages to Narrator on Xbox One, including Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, and Dutch. We’re also adding an Australian version of English language for Narrator, so Australian users will no longer have to select U.S. or U.K. English to use Narrator.

These updates are available because of the Xbox Insiders who have helped shape these features, so big thanks to all of you for your valuable input. If you’d like to help create the future of Xbox and get access to early features, download the Xbox Insider Hub app on your Xbox One or Windows 10 PC today. You can also visit the Xbox Insider Blog here for the latest release notes and to learn more. We’ll have more to share soon on additional features releasing to Xbox One this fall. Until then, enjoy the October Update and happy gaming!

It’s a big update week for Xbox One and PC gamers who are part of the Xbox and Windows Insider Programs. Starting later this week, these gamers will see and experience new features from the Windows 10 Creators Update on PC, with additional features expected to hit console soon after. Earlier this week, select Insider members saw new features such as the updated Home, Guide, and refreshed multitasking for Xbox One. The next update includes some big new additions for PC gamers, with a few more features releasing for Xbox One owners soon. These new features are releasing to a subset of Insiders starting tomorrow, with more Xbox and Windows Insider Program members receiving these in the coming weeks.

Here’s a look at the new features reaching select Xbox and Windows Insiders coming this week:

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  • Built-in Beam streaming (Xbox One, Windows 10 PC): Beam is the easiest and quickest way to stream gameplay, and it’s part of Insider builds coming later this week on your Windows 10 PC, with Xbox One functionality releasing to preview soon. For the creators out there, we wanted to make it easier for you to start your live game streams without any delays so you can quickly connect and engage with your viewers no matter where they are. On Beam, streams have under one second of delay; using our brand new streaming protocol dubbed “FTL”, you can interact with livestreams as if you were in the same room as the caster. What’s more, any stream can incorporate simple interactive features such as sound boards. Coming later this week on Windows 10 PCs, you can start Beam broadcasts by pulling up the Game bar — Windows key + G. And coming soon on Xbox One, you can also begin streaming directly from inside the Guide. The ability to manage your Beam broadcasts and interact with fellow gamers on chat will appear as overlays.

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  • Game Mode (Windows 10 PC): Last year, we set out to make Windows 10 the best Windows ever for gaming. With Game Mode, it’s our goal to now take things a step further to make the gaming experience on Windows even better. Our vision is that Game Mode optimizes your Windows 10 PC for an improvement in overall game performance. The upcoming Windows Insider build represents the first step on our journey with Game Mode. To enable Game Mode for your Win32 or UWP game, pull up the Game bar (Windows key + G) and click on the Settings button. There you’ll be able to opt the running game into using Game Mode. We’ll have additional details about Game Mode to share throughout Insider testing, so stay tuned.

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  • Gaming section in System Settings (Windows 10 PC): Later this week, inside the main Windows System Settings, a new section is being added: Gaming, identified with the Xbox logo. When this update releases, you’ll find settings for Game bar, GameDVR and broadcasting in this new Gaming area, with Game Mode coming in a future update. We’re also beginning to consolidate some system and user settings for gaming in this unified location, where PC users are accustomed to accessing their settings. We’ll continue to develop and deploy Gaming settings over time, as we continue to gather gamer feedback.

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  • New Cortana gaming enhancements (Xbox One): In the coming days, we’re adding additional Cortana updates to enhance your gaming experience even more, such as voice controls for Party commands and using Cortana to play music. We’re streamlining the UI and improving things behind the scenes to make your experience better. In case you missed it, we also added for select Xbox Insiders a few new Cortana updates to Xbox One earlier this week, including setting reminders. Now, by using a simple command such as “Hey, Cortana, remind me to start the Destiny Strike at 7 p.m.,” gamers can ensure they never miss out on a match with friends again.

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  • Screen time (Xbox One): Parental controls are a huge priority for us at Microsoft, as we strive to offer the most comprehensive and customizable family features possible so gamers of all ages feel safe and secure when using our platforms. That’s why the family timer we know and love is coming to Xbox One as screen time, updated for today’s digital family. Parents familiar with screen time for Windows 10 will find a similar set of controls for Xbox. Set daily time allowance and limits on the web for each child—your Xbox will pick those limits up and enforce them whenever the child is signed in. Screen time for Xbox One will be available soon. To prepare, head over to microsoft.com/family, sign in with the account you use for Xbox Insider access, and make sure your children’s accounts are all set up as a part of your family. When Xbox screen time is available, you’ll be able to manage it there.

That’s all for this week, but like we’ve said over the past few weeks, there’s plenty more to come for gamers on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. There’s more with Beam, Arena, and new social features, just to name a few. We look forward to your feedback as you test out these new features and we’ll keep you posted as more are readied for Insider releases.

Today, we’re beginning to ship the first wave of Xbox One features for the Creators Update to the Xbox Insider Program members. As Mike Ybarra shared last week, the Creators Update is packed full of new features for gamers who play on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs – in fact, we’re targeting hundreds of improvements across the board, noticeable by gamers and under the hood. Today’s update will start rolling out to a small subset of gamers, with the rest of the Xbox Insider Program receiving these features in the coming weeks.

For gamers, the Creators Update is about performance, people, competition and streaming – getting you to the things you care about most as quickly as possible. Today, that will mean a faster Xbox One experience than ever before, connecting you with the applications, games, and of course, friends, that you enjoy most. Check out the updated Home and learn how the newly-designed Guide works and is meant to simplify your experience. There’s lots more, too. As part of our commitment to enhancing gaming for everyone, we’re opening up new accessibility options to ensure great experiences for all gamers when playing on Xbox.

Here’s a look at the new features reaching Xbox Insiders today: 

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  • An updated look at Home: One of the first things you’ll notice is a new look for Home. Through the Insider program, we’ve received feedback from Xbox One gamers that the UI can be complex and for certain tasks, can require too many button presses. Our goal is to simplify the UI and increase overall system performance, and that starts with updating Home based on what you care most about for the games you play. To do that, we’ve optimized for speed and are surfacing to you the most valuable content for your games. You’ll notice the main tile for what you’re currently playing has changed. Now, you’ll see a smaller icon for the game and a few options to dive deeper into the Game Hub, interact with your Club or LFG for that game, view your Achievements, and more. The updated Home also celebrates the game you’re currently playing with hero art in the background when you’re not using a custom background. 

updated-guide_xbox-one

  • Faster and more intuitive Guide: The next thing you’re likely to notice is that Guide has been updated. With one press of the Xbox button on your controller, you can pull up the newly enhanced Guide as an overlay on the left side of your screen, no matter what you’re doing. With the Guide, we’ve added new features and functionality. You’ll notice that there’s a new start page. This page is designed to get you to the content you care about most, including your games and apps, Home, Store, your recently played games and apps, and your top Pins. It also features quick access to your media controls when playing background music.

achievement_xbox-one

  • New way to multitask: In addition to adding a new start page to Guide, we’re also evolving our multitasking system. To simplify discoverability and to make it much quicker to get to the things you care about most, our multitasking features will also be designed to work well with the new Guide. In addition to quick access to music, screen shots and GameDVR will be one button press away. You can bring up Guide and press “X” or “Y” on your controller to record your favorite gaming moments. We’ve also added a new achievement tracker which allows you to track your favorite achievements and play at the same time. The new Guide is also where you will be able to broadcast instantly to Beam when we roll that out to Insiders in the next couple of weeks.

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  • Cortana gaming enhancements: There are a series of new Cortana updates to make your Xbox One smarter. In this update, you can set reminders and alarms so you don’t miss gaming sessions. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing more Cortana updates to enhance your gaming experience even more as well as continued performance and reliability updates.

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  • Improving system updates: Our goal with system updates is that you never have to worry about them again, and to make it clearer when a system update is available. To enable this we are updating the interface so the steps are easy to understand. We’re also going to enable every Xbox One owner to keep their console, games, and apps up to date independent of which power mode they have chosen. 

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  • Enabling Xbox One to be accessible for everyone: One important area for us with this release is to enable Xbox One to be able to be used and played by everyone. Take for instance our new Copilot feature which allows two controllers to act as if they were one. This will help make Xbox One more inviting to new gamers needing assistance, more fun by adding cooperative controls for any game, and easier for players who need unique configurations to play — whether that is with hands apart, hand and chin, hand and foot, etc.. We are also adding new enhancements to Magnifier and Narrator, as well as giving more options over audio output and custom rumble settings on a controller, which was previously reserved for the Xbox Elite Controller. You can find these accessibility options, and more, in Settings > Ease of Access.
  • New spatial audio output settings for developers: To enable more immersive experiences for Xbox One, we have added a number of audio output features in Settings. If you are a developer on Xbox One, the new settings will allow you to add Dolby Atmos for Home Theater, Dolby Atmos for Headphones, and Windows HRTF support to your streaming media application or game. For Xbox One owners, hang tight and soon you’ll be able experience even more incredible audio on your console.
  • Blu-ray player bitstream passthrough beta: The Blu-ray disc player on Xbox One now supports a beta of bitstream passthrough, which allows your receiver to decode audio natively. All bitstream formats are supported, including newer ones like Dolby Atmos.

This is the first series of updates, and there’s more to come. Beam, Windows Game Mode, Arena, updates to Cortana, and plenty more are on the way. Thank you to gamers and Xbox fans near and far, for your continued support—and above all else—for sharing your thoughts and feedback that enables all of us at Xbox to continue giving back.