Here’s all 35 improvements within the Xbox One March update, and which you should actually care about

Callum Tennent
March 5, 2014

Ever since the Xbox One hit stores around the world last November, Microsoft has slowly been beefing up its already impressive features list. Some additions were nice luxuries, whilst some were perplexing absentees.

March is set to see the biggest rollout of improvements yet – we counted 35 in total. The aim is to get the console in tip-top shape in time for the release of Titanfall, the title Microsoft will be hoping to be the Halo of a generation in terms of sales.

35 is an awful lot of tweaks, so if you’d care to scroll through the list below, we’ve highlighted some of the features we feel are the most interesting. If you own an Xbox One and have it connected to Xbox Live, the update should be available to you as soon as today.

Improved Multiplayer & Party chat

  • Cross title party chat
  • Party chat on by default:  At last! Even if this was never an issue that affected you directly, at least you will no longer have to sit in a pre-game lobby listening to your confused competitors attempting to communicate with their friends entirely unaware that they aren’t in party chat.
  • Easier multiplayer invites
  • Easier multiplayer joining
  • Ability to see what the people in your party are doing

Improved Friends List + Profile

  • Improved friends list utility & speed of access
  • Ability to see people you recently played games with: Want to play with a gifted teammate again? Want to send a message to a stranger (in a totally non-creepy way)? Or perhaps you need to report a cheater – now you can finally see who you recently played with.
  • See when friends are broadcasting, including live broadcast thumbnails in activity feed
  • Get to a friend’s profile faster using type-ahead suggestions
  • Contextual app menu actions on friends list and activity feed items
  • Enabled more multiplayer (join and invite) actions on user profiles
  • 54 new contest-winning gamerpics

Twitch TV live streaming support

  • Broadcast gameplay on Twitch.TV through Xbox LIVE (When the updated Twitch app ships next wee)
  • Voice support for starting and ending broadcast: Yes, yes, yes to this whole section. If you have even a passing interest in pro-gaming or livestreaming, this is a very big deal. What’s more, you’re not just limited to Xbox One streamers either – the entire site’s selection of broadcasts is available for viewing.

Bringing out social in home

  • See favorite friends currently online: Pretty sensible, this one. Common sense, albeit common sense delayed by four months.
  • See friends broadcasting gameplay

Miscellaneous shell improvements

  • Improved notification centre experiences including “quiet mode”: Something that any FIFA 14 player can relate to, you can now finally put an end to the incessant, frequent pop ups that often plague a game for no real reason.
  • View Game Clips while in snap mode
  • Protect user settings with passkey

Browser improvements

  • Control Bing and Google maps with gesture and controller
  • Quick search when highlighting a term on a page
  • When searching from Bing search on the console, direct link to Internet Explorer in order to see additional web results.

New Devices ‘ Driver and Firmware updates

  • Firmware update to the Xbox One controller to support the Xbox One stereo headset adapter: It’s due for release in two days’ time, just in time for Titanfall. Perfect for the more serious gamer who prefers the highest quality of in-game audio and party chat.
  • Support for 1st and 3rd party headsets: And the adapter will also work with any decent pair of headphones you currently own – a nice touch.
  • Driver updates for the Xbox One Media Remote

SmartGlass Improvements

  • Push notification to your device for Xbox Live messages: If they keep this up ‘Smart’ Glass might soon be worthy of its name.
  • Quickly see what a friend is doing including presence and recent
  • Enhanced viewing of personal and a friend’s game progress and clips
  • Ability to close snap from SmartGlass

Live TV

  • 50Hz fix ‘ users can set the Live TV app to display at 50Hz for full or fill modes
  • Volume up/down adjustments ‘ user can tailor the number of volume increments when using “volume up” or “volume down” commands: When is Kinect not a time saver? When you have to bark the same command five times in succession. With this update, you can alter just how much each command varies the volume by. A surprisingly handy addition.
  • IR blasting of power & volume to TVs/AVRs in all regions
  • AVR setup maps to include model number for most sound bars or AVRs when setting up TV

Improved Audio output support

  • SPDIF (optical out) now supports 5.1 Dolby Digital ‘ enabling devices such as sound bars with only Optical In to be able to receive 5.1 Dolby Digital from console over optical: Poor optical support was a big miss for audiophiles. No more, say Microsoft. This is definitely a step in the right direction.
  • HDMI output now supports stereo uncompressed, 5.1 uncompressed, 7.1 uncompressed or 5.1 Dolby Digital live or 5.1 DTS

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About the Author

Callum Tennent

International playboy/tech journalist.

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