By Robert Workman
Microsoft is preparing a new firmware update for its Xbox One console that will add a number of most-wanted features to the system, mainly revolving around involving friends in game experiences and tech support for a number of new items.
The first notable feature with the update is a new “Friends” section, which will allow users to see at a glance what’s going on within their friend community, keeping up on activities, and seeing what the most popular games are.
Snap Center will also make its debut, enabling users to keep track of messages, friends, parties, and achievements through the split-screen Xbox Snap feature, all without having to leave the current game that they’re playing.
Messages will also be threaded, allowing users to embed links to recorded Game DVR clips, and keep track of previous conversations.
Xbox’s new Media Player app will enable users to use an attached USB device or a network connected home media hub that supports DLNA protocol. This will enable the system to support more formats, including JPGs, AIFFs, and much, much more.
The ability to stream television to the SmartGlass app will be a huge feature for some, as it will allow users utilizing the just-announced Digital TV Tuner to stream TV programming to their mobile device, all via the Xbox One system. With this feature, users will also be able to change channels and pause/rewind programming, all without interrupting the game they’re playing on their current system. The TV will also be able to be “booted” directly through the console.
(Of note, the above feature will only be available in countries in which the Digital TV Tuner is available — so, for now, that means UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain as part of a European preview period, followed by an official retail launch in October.)
Finally, a Live TV mini guide will provide an overview of what’s on TV, with channel listings and more, again, all without interrupting gameplay.
There’s no word when the firmware update will go live, but users probably won’t have to wait long. One thing’s for sure — that TV sharing feature will no doubt be a hit, especially if a loved one won’t stop playing “Titanfall.”
This article was originally published on alistdaily.com, the insiders’ source for editorial focused on entertainment marketing news, and content partner with VideoInk. It’s been minimally edited for clarity. Follow [a]listdaily on Twitter @alistdaily or subscribe for the latest news, data and more in your inbox.