Microsoft's first major patch for the Xbox One was just and appetizer, but the March's follow-up patch is certain to be the main course. The patch will take on several of the majort issues console owners have been unhappy with related first and foremost to the party system, but also issues related to friends lists and the GUI behind social connections. While the patch's specifc launch date isn't yet confirmed, it will be available prior to Titanfall's launch on March 11.
Unfortunately the release put out by Microsoft today falls rather short of patch notes. Instead they read rather overly complimentary, so please try and read between the words:
- Get to your friends list faster. The friends list will be front and center on the homepage of the Friends app. Click the Social tile on Home, or say “Xbox, go to Friends” to see who’s online and what they’re up to. From there you can quickly send messages and get into a party.
- Party chat will be turned on by default. When you party up, chat audio will be turned on by default.
- Chat with friends playing different games. Party chat will be separated from people playing your game, so you can chat with your friends who are online or you can chat with everyone playing the game.
- We’re adding an “Invite friends to game” option to your multiplayer titles moving forward. Similar to Xbox 360 titles, this will appear inside a games’ menu and offer a simple and quicker way to set up your multiplayer battles. Selecting “Invite friends” will let you invite friends to your game and party.
- We’re adding “Recent Players.” This is a simple list that shows you Xbox Live members you’ve recently played with, making it easier to stay in touch with people, or add new friends after your multiplayer battles.
Glory be to Microsoft for finally fixing the party chat issues. I'm almost certain every single person who has joined a party on the Xbox One started talking to their friends for 1, 5, how many minutes only to learn that voice chat is off by default. Join a party to chat, but Xbox One turns voice chat off by default. It's mind boggling.
Of course, the most significant change is splitting game chat from party chat like done on the Xbox 360. It just makes sense. That's what a party is all about isn't it? The ability to talk to a choice group of friends across the platform no matter what each person's doing. Microsoft brass may see it as a step back, but it'll be good to have things back. Expect another update on this story when we get an official release date.