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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.

 

Xbox is happy to invite all Xbox Live players without a Gold membership to play online with friends for free during our Free Play Days For All event from 12:01 a.m. PDT on May 17 to 11:59 p.m. PDT on May 20 on Xbox One and Xbox 360.

This is a great opportunity for players across both consoles to experience one of the most-popular benefits of Xbox Live Gold membership — when it comes to multiplayer gaming, network reliability is everything. Log in now to play on a network that delivers as well as you do.

Great Games Unlocked for a Limited Time

And how about two free Xbox One games to play during this event? All Xbox Live members will have free access to play Rainbow Six Siege and Fallout 4 for a limited time from now through May 20. (Note: the limited time unlocks for these games are only available on Xbox One).

Xbox Live members can download the games here:

These offers are only available from May 17-20, so log on your Xbox One or Xbox 360 now to get in on the action. More info at http://www.xbox.com/live/free-play-days-for-all.

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.

[ 💬 Larry Hryb ] @majornelson

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Will Tuttle, Xbox Wire Editor In Chief, shares details about what Xbox has planned for E3 2018.

Here at Xbox, we’re hard at work getting ready for the big show. We’ll be kicking things off with our annual Xbox E3 2018 Briefing, which you can watch live beginning on Sunday, June 10 at 1 p.m. PDT. During the briefing, you’ll have a chance to check out everything from in-depth looks at previously-announced games to trailers for our unannounced titles coming in 2018 and beyond. You can watch the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing live beginning at 1 p.m. PDT on Sunday, June 10 on the official Xbox Mixer Channel or on the Mixer app for Xbox One and Windows 10.

This year, on Mixer, the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing will be offered in six languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish (LATAM), Portuguese (LATAM), and includes support for English Closed Captions. To select an alternate language, click the “cog” button within Mixer to view the available list. We’re excited for more fans all around the world to join in on the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing festivities.

You’ll also be able to catch a live stream of the briefing on other streaming services, which we’ll be announcing soon, as well as on the big screen at your local Microsoft Stores.

This year will mark the first year that our hot new show, Inside Xbox, will be airing during E3. Inside Xbox: Live @ E3 will air Monday, June 11 at 3 p.m. PDT and will feature a livestream full of exclusive announcements, game demos, interviews, giveaways and more. We’ll also be streaming live on Mixer every day throughout E3 2018 starting from Tuesday, June 12 through Thursday, June 14, so keep an eye out for our full schedule coming soon.

Finally, if you’re in LA during E3 week, we’ve got something even bigger for you: more details on Xbox FanFest: E3 2018! As we announced last week, you can win a chance to be one of the 400 lucky people to experience Xbox FanFest from June 10 to June 11, or win one of 1,000 brand-new Xbox Briefing-Only Fan Tickets. All winners will be able to enjoy the Xbox E3 Briefing in-person.

Today at 12 p.m. PDT, we’ll be launching the Xbox E3 Fan Event Submission Site, where you can submit your name for a chance, via random drawing, to win a ticket (or tickets, if you choose to add a guest) to Xbox FanFest or a Briefing-Only Fan Ticket. After your submission, you’ll need to keep an eye on the random drawing dates, then watch your email inbox once the winners have been chosen.

Amongst other things, fans who win one of the Xbox FanFest tickets will get:

  • Early Check-in: Private check-in and admission to a Fan Rally prior to the Xbox E3 Briefing on Sunday morning.
  • Briefing Access: Experience the Xbox E3 Briefing in-person.
  • Epic Moments: A “can’t miss” Xbox community event Sunday afternoon.
  • Exclusivity: Early access to Xbox’s hottest exclusives and biggest blockbuster games.
  • Meet Xbox: Meet and talk with some of gaming’s top developers, leaders and influencers.
  • Our Secret Gear Backpack: Full of amazing surprises.
  • A Custom Jersey: Since Xbox fans deserve the best apparel to show off their fandom!

Head on over to the Xbox E3 Online Experience for more information, as well as full rules and regulations, on Xbox FanFest: E3 2018.

Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks, as these are just a few of the activities Xbox has planned for E3 2018!

For more details about Xbox At E3 2018, check out Xbox Wire.

Mike Nichols, Corporate Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Xbox, details plans for Microsoft’s biggest E3 showing ever.

Since Xbox made its first appearance at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2000, Xbox has had a major presence at the show, delivering exclusive and powerful ways to let fans in on what we’re up to, and 2018 will be no different.  In fact, it will be our biggest showing ever.

With the evolution of E3, now including fans and extended show hours, we saw an opportunity to create an entirely new show experience reaching E3 attendees and those that are following the show from afar.  With that, in collaboration with the Entertainment Software Association, the organizers of E3, we’re excited to announce that Xbox will be taking over the Microsoft Theater, a perfectly situated space located in the heart of L.A. Live and across the street from the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC).

The Microsoft Theater will be home to official E3 events like the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing on June 10, 2018 at 1PM PT, various Xbox FanFest activities, hands-on gameplay and demos for all E3 attendees and more.  Not only does the Microsoft Theater allow us to centralize our Xbox presence at E3, but it’s size enables us to include even more fans and partners in the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing than ever before.

In addition to the Microsoft Theater, we’ll also continue to have a meaningful presence at the LACC with a new booth completely dedicated to Mixer, where you can play, stream and interact with games and catch the latest E3 news live throughout the entire week.

These changes – expanding our presence, multiple venues, taking over the Microsoft Theater – give us the opportunity to bring together a variety of Xbox experiences into one primary location and, most importantly, let fans in on what we’re up to in 2018 and beyond in a fresh new way.

So mark your calendars for the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing for June 10, 2018 at 1PM PT to kick off the week of E3 with us.  We’re excited and will have plenty more to share on our E3 2018 plans soon.  Stay tuned to Xbox Wire for an update in April.

Bree White, Global Product Marketing Manager on the Xbox Team, shares details about the new Combat Tech Special Edition controller releasing later this month.

Last spring, we debuted the Xbox Wireless Controller Tech Series – a line of special edition controllers inspired by military technology and performance patterns found in combat vehicles. Today, we’re excited to announce the third controller in the Tech Series, the Xbox Wireless Controller – Combat Tech Special Edition.

Pre-Order Xbox Wireless Controller – Combat Tech Special Edition from Microsoft Store

The Xbox Wireless Controller – Combat Tech Special Edition embodies a traditional army color palette with its classic Military Green base color (the same Military Green offered through Xbox Design Lab), bright orange accents and military insignia. Like the Recon Tech and Patrol Tech controllers that came before it, the Combat Tech controller features a textured laser-etched grip on the front of the controller and rubberized diamond grips on the back to help you stay on target. In select regions, you’ll get 14-day trials for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. The Xbox Wireless Controller – Combat Tech Special Edition will be available for $69.99 USD and will start shipping to participating retailers worldwide, including Microsoft Store, on March 27.

The first of the controller in the Tech Series, Xbox Wireless Controller – Recon Tech Special Edition, launched last spring and comes in a sleek, dark grey military design.  The second controller in the series is the Xbox Wireless Controller – Patrol Tech Special Edition that launched in the fall. It features a dark blue military design. Both controllers are available for $69.99 USD at select retailers worldwide including micrsoftstore.com.

All Xbox Wireless Controllers are compatible with the Xbox One family of devices and the Tech series controllers include the fan favorite features you know and love, a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth technology for gaming on Windows 10 devices or Samsung Gear VR. You can also take advantage of the custom button-mapping feature through the Xbox Accessories App.

Visit xbox.commicrosoftstore.com, Microsoft Store or your local retailer for more information.