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.

Join the Xbox family for only $199, just in time for some holiday gaming!

Xbox One S offers the best value in games and entertainment, with 500GB bundles starting at $199 for a limited time this holiday through the end of December 2017. Drive, explore, and race all over Australia with the Xbox One S Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels Bundle (500GB), featuring a full-game download of Forza Horizon 3 and the best-selling Hot Wheels expansion. Or, create, explore and survive in your own Minecraft adventure with the Xbox One S Minecraft Complete Adventure Bundle (500GB).

If you’re looking for more space, 1TB consoles are only $299! Discover the mysteries of Ancient Egypt with the Xbox One S Assassin’s Creed Origins Bonus Bundle (1TB), and unravel the origin of the Assassin’s Brotherhood. Or free Middle-earth from Sauron with the Xbox One S Shadow of War bundle (1TB), and forge a new ring and siege epic fortresses.

If you’re looking for more savings from Xbox, here’s what’s happening for the holidays!

– Get $10 off select branded Xbox Wireless Controllers

– Get $10 off Super Lucky’s TaleDisneyland AdventuresZoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection or Pixar’s Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure

– Get $20 off Halo Wars 2Gears of War 4, and Forza Motorsport 7

– Buy an Xbox Live Gold 3-Month subscription and get the Madden Starter Pack, a $15 value

Look for these deals at your local Microsoft Store and participating U.S. retailers. As an added bonus, starting today, get a Limited-Edition Xbox Holiday Ornament with any purchase of $50 or more at Microsoft Store, while supplies last.

With Xbox One S you can enjoy over 1,300 games and more than 220 exclusives, including MinecraftMadden NFL 18, Forza Motorsport 7 and, the hottest game of the year, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), available now through Xbox Game Preview. You can also access a variety of entertainment features, including a built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray player, 4K and HDR video streaming from partners like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and premium and immersive audio with Dolby Atmos support. Plus, enjoy 100 additional games right out of the box with a free month of Xbox Game Pass.

No matter which way you choose to save, there’s never been a better time to join the Xbox family.

Skip the holiday lines this year and give the gift of great games to your friends and family. Now you can gift select Xbox One games and downloadable game content as well as Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, right from Microsoft Store on your Xbox console, on Windows, or online. With immediate digital delivery and one click-redemption for your recipient, it’s the easiest way to give and receive the best of Xbox. Limitations apply. Click here for Terms and Conditions.

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.

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Matt Lapsen, General Manager of Xbox Devices Marketing, shares some details on the consoles and accessories available this holiday season.

It’s been an exciting year for Team Xbox. Just a couple days ago, on Nov. 7, we launched the world’s most powerful console, Xbox One X, which joins Xbox One S in the Xbox One family of devices. The Xbox One gaming experience features a robust library of titles with more than 1,300 games and 220 exclusives available today, including Backward Compatible titles that help make Xbox One the only console system to play the best games of the past, present and future. More titles are on the way as well, including the hottest game on the planet PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, releasing as an Xbox One console launch exclusive Dec. 12, 2017.

In addition, both Xbox One X and Xbox One S offer fans a variety of features that make Xbox One the best place to enjoy gaming and 4K entertainment, including:

For a limited time, everyone in the U.S. can take advantage of special offers at participating retailers, including:

  • From now through Nov. 18, buy any Xbox One S bundle starting at $249 USD and get an additional game of your choice at no extra cost
  • From now through Nov. 18, buy an Xbox One X and save $50 on Xbox Elite Wireless Controller
  • From now through Nov. 18, save $10 on select Xbox Wireless Controllers

See below for an overview of all the various Xbox hardware options available now, and make sure to check with participating retailers – including your local Microsoft Store, whether you’re shopping in a physical store, online or through your Xbox device – for more information on availability and pricing.

Xbox One X

Xbox One X is both the most powerful console in the world and the smallest Xbox ever built, capable of true 4K gaming. With 40 percent more power than any other console, Xbox One X is where console gamers can play the best versions of games. More than 50 Xbox One X Enhanced games are available now, including Forza Motorsport 7, Super Lucky’s Tale, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Middle-earth: Shadow of War and FIFA 18, with more on the way. Additionally, Xbox One X makes your existing library even better, with higher-resolution textures, smoother frame rates and faster load times, even on a 1080p TV. Xbox One X is currently available in 35 Xbox One markets with more coming soon, and retails at $499 USD. Fans are encouraged to buy the new console early this holiday season before quantities run out. For the latest on where to buy Xbox One X, visit xbox.com/xboxonex.

Xbox One S Bundles

Xbox One S offers the best value in 4K entertainment, with bundles starting at $279 USD. See below for all the different Xbox One S bundles available this holiday season. Availability and pricing varies by market, so please check with your local retailer for more information.

*Xbox One S Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels Bundle. ($279 USD). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Forza Horizon 3 with the Hot Wheels expansion, 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Minecraft Limited Edition Bundle ($399 USD). Features a 1TB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller – Minecraft Creeper, Xbox One S Vertical Stand, full-game download of Minecraft with the Redstone Pack, 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Minecraft Complete Adventure Bundle ($279 USD). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Minecraft, full add-on download of the Minecraft Explorer’s pack, full-game download code of Minecraft: Story Mode Season 1 – The Complete Adventure (Episodes 1-8), 3-month Xbox Live Gold subscription and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Assassin’s Creed Origins Bundle (£229 GBP / €279 EUR): Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Assassin’s Creed Origins, 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Assassin’s Creed Origins Bonus Bundle ($279 USD): Features a 1TB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Assassin’s Creed Origins, full-game download of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Madden NFL 18 Bundle ($279 USD). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Madden NFL 18, 20 percent discount code on com, 14-day trial subscription to Xbox Live Gold and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Rocket League Blast-Off Bundle (£229 GBP/€279 EUR). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Rocket League, 3-month Xbox Live Gold subscription and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Shadow of War Bundles (starting at $279 USD): Features either a 500GB or 1TB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, 1-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold and 1-month membership to Xbox Game Pass.

*Xbox One S Starter Bundle ($279 USD). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, 3-month Xbox Live Gold subscription and 3-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Ultimate Halo Bundle ($279 USD). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game downloads of Halo 5: Guardians and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

Xbox Accessories

In addition to your Xbox One console, fans have several controller options to choose from to take their gaming to the next level:

*Xbox Design Lab (starting at $79.99 USD). This year, we introduced even more customization options, giving Xbox fans over a billion design combinations to choose from, including new color options, thumbstick colors, metallic finishes for D-pads and triggers and black rubberized grips. We also recently introduced the Xbox Wireless Controller – NFL, giving fans in the U.S. yet another way to personalize their Xbox experience. Xbox Design Lab is available to residents in Canada, France, Germany, the U.K, the U.S. and more than 20 additional European countries.

*Xbox Elite Wireless Controller ($149.99 USD). For fans looking for professional-level customization, look no further than the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. The controller was built from the ground up to meet the rigorous demands of hardcore, competitive-level gamers, and offers various options to adjust unique elements of the controller for better control, precision and comfort.

*New Xbox Wireless Controller options. In addition to Xbox Design Lab and the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, fans can expand their collection of Xbox Wireless Controllers with a bevy of special edition and limited edition designs, including Minecraft Pig, Minecraft Creeper, Patrol Tech Special Edition, Green/Grey and Volcano Shadow, starting at $64.99 USD. Every Xbox Wireless Controller features textured grip for enhanced comfort and Bluetooth technology for gaming on Windows 10.

With Xbox One, you can create your perfect gaming experience this holiday, choosing from  a multi-faceted lineup of new consoles and accessories.

Last week, we delivered an upgraded console experience to Xbox One owners that focused on personalization and speed improvements.  It was a massive update, but we aren’t done just yet.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be addressing customer feedback and adding even more great new features that gamers have been asking for.  Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect:

*For Xbox Insiders in the Alpha ring, the Microsoft Store now enables gifting of most digital Xbox One games, “durable” downloadable content (DLC) (map packs, weapon skins, etc.), Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Game Pass—right from your console! Just choose a game within the Store, select “Buy as Gift,” and send it to your friends or family members by picking their Gamertag or entering their email address.

*In addition to games and friends, you will soon be able to add club blocks to Home. We’re also making it easier to explore additional types of blocks at the bottom of Home by adding a new section under “Add More.”

*We’re improving the setup experience to make it better for both new users and upgraders. The settings from your home console will now be saved to the cloud, just like your game saves.  Whenever you set up a new console, you will have the option of applying these settings during the sign-in process.

*Additionally, your console will now back up even more settings, including your TV & OneGuide settings. This expansion will provide a simple experience when you transition from one console to another using the settings backup to your external games and apps storage device.

*The Xbox app for iOS and Android will now enable you to finish setting up your new Xbox One X console while it’s downloading the day one update. Additionally, we’ve also improved the process for enabling 4K output right out of the box.

*Xbox’s new notifications provide an at-a-glance status of what activities you can immediately step into after you’ve had to step out for a moment. We’re adding additional notifications types when your system goes idle, including LFG posts, broadcasts, and Achievements.

*We’re adding miniature Game Hubs for your most recently used games in the Guide. That way, you can access the great content on a game hub without having to leave the action.

*Adults who have enabled the “Buy & download” online safety setting will now have an easier time purchasing games thanks to a passkey/password challenge directly in the Xbox dashboard.

*We’ve heard your feedback! Games with no unlocked achievements can now be hidden from the personal and public view of your profile.

These features will roll out to Xbox Insiders over the next few weeks. Insiders can check the release notes within the Xbox Insider Hub for more details, or navigate to the Xbox Insider forums at forums.xbox.com.

We believe games are more fun with friends. Starting Friday, October 6 at 1:00 a.m. PDT to Monday, October 9 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, you can play online in any game you own with your friends for free during our Free Play Days For All weekend on Xbox One and Xbox 360 — Xbox Live Gold membership not required.

Download the STAR WARS Battlefront II Multiplayer Beta

There’s more! If you’re looking for a new multiplayer experience to try during the Free Play Days For All event on Xbox One, the Star Wars Battlefront II open beta also runs for free from Friday, October 6 at 1:00 a.m. PDT to Monday, October 9 at 11.59 p.m. PDT.

Honestly you should play the Star Wars Battlefront II even if you’re not actively looking for something new — it’s going to be spectacular and one of the largest ever distributed by EA. So, be sure to get started with your download as soon as possible. During the multiplayer beta, you’ll have the chance to try Arcade Challenges against AI foes, try your hand in the multi-stage Galactic Assault mode, and team up with your squadron of friends in Starfighter Assault.

Star Wars Battlefront II Hero ImagePlus, everyone who plays the beta will receive a specially curated Founder’s Crate filled with goodies as a thank you from the developers, including credits, an exclusive emote for Darth Maul, and a rare trooper Star Card to give them a head start in battle.

If that’s not enough, tune into the Xbox Channel on Mixer or use the Mixer App on your Xbox One during the whole weekend to watch some of our top streamers livestream the Star Wars Battlefront II open beta. There will be lots of sci-fi movies as giveaways to viewers, so come hang out. It’ll be a great time!

As a reminder, these offers are only available from October 6 – 9, so log on your Xbox One or Xbox 360 now to get in on the action. For more details on Free Play Days For All, visit Xbox.com.

Star Wars: Battlefront II arrives on Xbox One on November 17, but don’t forget with EA Access you can jump in early beginning November 9 in the EA Access Play First Trial and save 10% if you decide to buy the whole game only on Xbox One.

Last month at gamescom, we unveiled pre-orders for the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition, a limited edition console designed for our biggest fans. Thanks to you, we saw record-setting sellouts in the first five days, making Xbox One X the fastest-selling Xbox pre-order ever with more Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition consoles pre-ordered in the first five days than any Xbox ever.

We know you are anxious to get your hands on the world’s most powerful console and we’re pleased to announce Xbox One X standard edition pre-orders begin today. Local retailers around the world, including Microsoft Store and Microsoft.com, are opening up more pre-orders for Xbox One X, so be sure to get yours today.

Pre-Order Xbox One X Standard Edition from MS Store

Pre-Order Xbox One X Standard Edition from Amazon

Pre-Order Xbox One X Standard Edition from GameStop

Pre-Order Xbox One X Standard Edition from Best Buy

When it comes to games, we’re pleased to announce that you’ll be able to enjoy more than 130 (and counting!) new and existing games enhanced for Xbox One X to take advantage of its full power, including Far Cry 5, L.A. Noire, Greedfall and Okami HD. We set out to make Xbox One X the best place to create and experience games, and hearing how our partners are excited and committed to Xbox One X confirms our vision. For more information explaining Xbox One X Enhanced program, visit xbox.com/enhanced and check out this video with Albert Penello, Head of Xbox Console Marketing, and me.

Xbox One X joins the Xbox One family of devices this holiday alongside Xbox One S and the recently-announced Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels bundle, Minecraft Limited Edition bundle, Shadow of War bundle and Madden NFL 18 bundle – all also available for purchase or pre-order now. And of course, all your existing Xbox One games and accessories are compatible across the Xbox One family of devices.