Last month, we released several fan-inspired feature updates to the community. This month, we are starting to roll out even more features including a new Party overlay to help you see who’s speaking in your group, more fan-requested improvements to Looking for Group on Xbox Live and the Activity Feed, and later this month Killer Instinct tournaments powered by Arena on Xbox Live.

Since we announced Arena at E3 2016, and first launched it to Xbox Insiders this past fall, the team has been hard at work building and refining Arena to make esports available for gamers on Xbox Live, regardless of their skill-level. Huge thank you to Xbox fans for sharing your thoughts on the feature – your feedback has had a direct impact helping us evolve the Arena experience, and will help ensure the feature is great when it rolls out broadly. Over the next month, we will open up World of Tanks tournaments on Arena to more Insiders, and we’re excited to launch Killer Instinct tournaments, including the ability for users to create their own tournaments in their Clubs. Here is a little more about the great new features coming to Arena, as well a look at other features coming to Xbox Insiders in the coming weeks.

Arena on Xbox Live

In addition to World of Tanks on Arena in partnership with ESL, later this month Killer Instinct on Arena is back for select Xbox Insiders! You can discover, register, and play in both official and user-generated tournaments in Clubs across Xbox One and Windows 10. Get notifications when your match is ready, enjoy automatic results reporting, and show off the results on your Activity Feed when you’re done.

Want to create your own Killer Instinct tournament? Starting this month, Club owners and administrators can create and host tournaments in their Clubs. Download the Xbox app (beta) on your Windows 10 PC, go to your Club and click on the “Tournaments” tab then select “Create tournament.” Fill out your tournament info and publish your event. Other members of that Club, or guests if they are allowed, on either PC or Xbox One can then discover, join, and play in your tournament.

As Arena continues to grow, be on the lookout for more tournaments with games like Halo Wars 2 and Smite, as well as gamer-created tournaments for World of Tanks. And watch for more details about our first public Arena-powered prized tournament: The Killer Instinct Battle for New York, where eight top Killer Instinct players will win a trip to compete for over $10k in cash and prizes in our New York Microsoft Store studio. We’re really excited to bring the excitement of competitive gaming to the community on Xbox One and Windows 10 – it’s never been easier to compete on Xbox Live.

Party Overlay

We’ve recently shipped several multitasking features, including the Achievement tracker, to improve your gaming experience. With this update, we are adding a new overlay that will tell you who’s speaking in your Party, without having to open the Guide. When you are in a Party, go to the Guide to enable the overlay. Just like the Achievement tracker, you can choose where on the screen you want to place the overlay and how transparent it will be. The window will show the Gamertag of the player whenever they speak, and when no one is talking, the window will be invisible. This is particularly useful for Looking for Group and other scenarios where you might not know all the members of your Party.

Fan-Requested Feature Updates

Building on the update we shipped last month, we are continuing to improve features based on input from the community, which you can read about below:

  • Share your Looking for Group post on the Activity Feed or through a message
  • Unfollow a Club or Game Hub directly from your Activity Feed
  • Your profile will display your Arena tournament history and upcoming tournaments.
  • For Beam and Twitch broadcasts, you will now have an option in the Guide for your Kinect to locate you automatically.
  • Captive Portal support for wireless internet is coming to Xbox One, which allows for Wi-Fi authentication through a browser. Great for colleges, hotels, or public Wi-Fi locations.
  • Filter posts on your Activity Feed on the Xbox app for iOS and Android
  • On the Xbox app for Windows 10, we’re adding the option to select the audio input and output sources for Party chat.

As mentioned earlier, these updates will start to roll out today and in the coming weeks. And as always, keep letting us know what you think about our features at Xbox Feedback. Your input is invaluable as we continue to evolve the Xbox experience. Thank you!

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Today, at an event in New York City, Microsoft unveiled the Windows 10 Creators Update, a free update coming in early 2017 with a host of new features that empower people to create and share their experiences with others.  For gamers, the Windows 10 Creators Update will allow anyone to easily broadcast their gameplay and create their own tournaments on the fastest, most reliable multiplayer network – Xbox Live.

Beam Integration Makes Game Broadcasting Easy and More Interactive

Today, gamers on Windows 10 PCs can enjoy seamless access to gaming features via Game bar (by pressing Windows key and G) like Game DVR, making it easy to share your epic gaming moments with your friends via Xbox Live. We’re excited to announce that, with the release of the Creators Update in early 2017, Game bar will allow gamers to start a Beam broadcast for any game almost instantly.

By bringing Beam to Xbox, we’re creating more interactive gaming experiences for both the player and the viewer on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, allowing you to watch live game streams and give you the ability to interact in real time with broadcasters. Best of all, Beam technology will be built right into Windows 10 and Xbox One, so anyone can become a game broadcaster.

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Arena on Xbox Live Adds Gamer-Generated Tournaments

Arena on Xbox Live (available in Preview today) brings the healthy fun of competitive gaming to everyone, regardless of skill-level. Today, we announced gamer-created tournaments are coming to Arena on Xbox Live, allowing you easily define the rules of competition by setting your tournament style, inviting friends and tracking tournament progress seamlessly across your devices, whether it’s on Xbox One or Windows 10. Creating and managing your own tournaments on Xbox Live has never been easier.

Arena on Xbox Live is powered by the world’s most advanced gaming community, uniting gamers across Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, and fueled by hundreds of thousands of servers to deliver maximum performance while reducing lag and cheating.

Plus, with new features like Clubs, Looking for Group and Arena on Xbox Live, and cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, we make it easier than ever to connect with people who have shared interests and have fun together on Xbox Live.

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Xbox One S is This Holiday’s Must-Have Console

The smaller and sleeker Xbox One S is available now, delivering more power, built-in UHD 4K Blu-ray, 4K video streaming, and High Dynamic Range for video and gaming – all starting at $299. With Xbox One S, you get one of the top 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players on the market, giving you the ability to watch Blu-ray movies and stream video in stunning 4K Ultra HD with HDR, including content from partners like Netflix (available now) and Amazon Video (available later this year). With four times the resolution of standard HD, 4K Ultra HD delivers the clearest, most realistic video possible, making Xbox One S the console to buy this holiday.

What’s more, we’ve got a great lineup of Xbox One S bundles available for some of our top blockbuster titles this holiday, letting you get the most for your gaming dollar and choose the title and hard drive that’s right for you, with 500GB, 1TB and 2TB consoles.

Finally, audio enthusiasts will be excited to learn that bitstream audio pass-through including Dolby Atmos support is coming soon to Xbox One with our Blu-ray player.

For more on today’s announcements from the event, head over to the Windows Blog, where you can find more on the day’s biggest announcements, or read more at Xbox Wire.