Microsoft is gearing up for the next big Xbox One update, delivering an assortment of improvements to the console’s operating system. Succeeding the “Xbox Fall Update” released last year, the “Xbox Spring Update” brings long-awaited support for 1440p displays, Mixer controller sharing and much more.
Following a shift to the “Redstone 4” development branch, Microsoft is already testing upcoming features through the Xbox Insider Program. Pre-release builds are currently accessible to the Alpha preview ring, prior to a public release expected in the months to come. With changes to be seen system-wide, we’ve rounded up every change confirmed so far.
1440p support for Xbox One X and Xbox One S
One of the Xbox One X’s flagship features is support for 4K resolutions, outputting significantly sharper images across supported media. Although consoles connected to 4K displays provide the best experience, its supersampling capabilities deliver notable benefits on lower resolution displays too. But with supersampling currently limited exclusively to 1080p, 1440p (2560 x 1440) displays see a lower than native resolution.
The Xbox Spring Update is set to add support for native 1440p outputs, providing a middle ground for between 1080p and full 4K. This gives a notable resolution bump on these displays, rather than downsampling to 1080p as seen in previous implementations. Most “Xbox One X Enhanced” games will now look crisper, while high-resolution video content will see similar upgrades on Xbox One X and Xbox One S.
Mixer controller sharing
Microsoft’s Mixer live streaming service is built around interactivity, with an existing assortment of features designed to foster closer streamer-audience relationships. The Xbox Spring Update is set to expand upon this with “controller sharing,” by allowing streamers to digitally pass the controller to their viewers.
Once enabled, a Mixer streamer can hand off control of their console to one audience member. Connecting a controller or using an on-screen controller replacement, they can provide button inputs, like the console’s existing “co-pilot” feature. Paired with Mixer’s FTL streaming technology, the feature should deliver low latency gameplay across the globe.
Microsoft Edge improvements
While Microsoft Edge found a home on Xbox One some time ago, its capabilities are dampened in contrast to its full-fledged Windows 10 counterpart. Microsoft is aiming to deliver improvements to the console experience in its next update, through a new controller-centric user interface and expanded feature set.
Welcome features from the PC version are on track to hit Xbox One, all contributing toward making Microsoft Edge a more viable console web browser. Among the announced additions is downloading and uploading files, tab muting, read aloud and autofill. Changes also appear to have been made to the EdgeHTML engine, delivering further rendering improvements to Xbox One.
System-wide audio changes
A new widget is making its arrival through the Xbox One’s Guide menu, providing a new way to manage audio. If background music is playing while a game open, audio levels can be balanced between the two sources. This expands on the previous volume options, where background audio levels could be raised and lowered around game audio.
Audio changes are also being rolled out across the OS, with revamped sound effects paired with user-interface interaction. These will support spatial audio with surround sound systems too, adding a level of depth to system menus.
Outside of the biggest changes with this update, smaller tweaks have been implemented across the OS, including:
- A new Games with Gold tab is being added to “My Games & Apps,” as a single stop for free titles redeemed with Xbox Live Gold. Like the Xbox Game Pass subsection added in the 1802 update, titles can be quickly installed through this tab.
- Improvements to Mixer broadcasting are on the horizon, with numerous refinements to stream management. Improvements include seamless streams while switching games and the ability to retitle broadcasts directly from the Guide menu.
- When viewing Xbox Live clubs, options will be available to filter content by “What’s Hot” and “Top Posts.” “What’s Hot” posts algorithmically sort currently popular content, while “Top Posts” list the most popular feed items in a club’s history.
- Club administrators will be receiving advanced invite filtering tools, allowing club invitation requests to be sorted by specific criteria.
- Tournaments are expanding beyond Xbox Live clubs, with new open tournaments tied directly to Game Hubs. This allows players to start and participate in tournaments without being enlisted in a club.
What new features would you like to see on Xbox One? What do you think of these changes? Let us know in the comments.
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