Xbox One party update in March takes some encouraging steps

The forthcoming March system update for the Xbox One corrects a lot of what’s wrong with the current party system, as Microsoft Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten confirms in a new Xbox Wire post. The update is meant to prepare the console for the multiplayer-focused Titanfall from Respawn Entertainment, which arrives on March 11.

Here’s a rundown of the added or tweaked features that you can expect to see next month, ripped straight from Whitten’s post:

  • 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.

The March update was first revealed last week when Whitten took to Xbox Wire to share the details of February’s update. The earlier post said the party/multiplayer update would be out on March 4, but in the latest post Whitten simply writes that it’s coming in “early March.” He also notes that there may be other new features as well, and that we’ll hear more about it in the coming weeks. Whatever the final date ends up being, you can bet the update will happen before Titanfall drops on March 11.

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