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Xbox One August Update Includes 3D Blu-ray, Mobile Purchasing, and More

by Kyle Hanson

XboxOne-with-Forza-Motorsport-5-and-Kinect-760x428

Xbox’s Major Nelso has shared many details for the next Xbox One system update. It includes a number of features that will improve the social aspects of the Xbox One as well as some technical improvements. The update will start rolling out to early access users next week for testing. All users will be getting the update in August.

The full list of feature changes and additions are below:

  • Activity feed updates: We’re adding new ways for you to interact with friends in the activity feed.  The interface will change to a single column scrolling list that is longer and includes more content. We’ll add the ability to post text to your feed, and to “like” and comment on feed items. You can share game clips and anything else in the feed with friends either publically (to your activity feed) or privately (as an attachment to a message). You’ll also be notified when anyone likes, comments on or shares your items. Each user will get a personal feed on their profile, so you can see what specific friends have been up to. And, with SmartGlass, you can see what your friends have shared to their activity feed and “like” specific posts (additional activity feed support coming in future SmartGlass updates).
  • Expanded Friends area on Home: Right from Home, see what’s going on with your friends. Stay up-to-date with their current activity, the top trending games your friends are playing, and a leaderboard to see who has been working the hardest on their Gamerscore. We’re doing an extended preview on this, rolling it into the early access preview this month to a subset of our preview audience so we can refine it until it’s ready for the entire Xbox One market.
  • Mobile purchase: One of the most requested features on Xbox Feedback. Using Xbox SmartGlass or on Xbox.com, you can remotely purchase games and Add-on content. No more waiting to begin downloading when you get home – if your console is set to automatically take updates, your console will begin downloading your purchase.
  • Low battery notification: You asked for it, now a notification will pop up when your controller battery is getting low.
  • Disable notifications during video: Adding the ability to turn off notifications based feedback we heard from you.
  • Enabling 3D Blu-ray: An update to the Blu-ray player app will enable 3D Blu-ray functionality on Xbox One.
  • OneGuide in Brazil, Mexico, Austria and Ireland: Live TV listings can be configured for four new countries as part of this month’s Preview program. And now there is an OneGuide Issue Reporter available under the TV & OneGuide settings, Troubleshooting section.
  • Last seen time in Friends list: Direct from Xbox Feedback, the friends list will now show how long it’s been since a friend has been online. For example, “Last seen 20m ago: Forza Motorsport 5.”

The biggest additions for me are certainly mobile purchasing and 3D Blu-ray playback. Downloading and installing a game, sitting there watching a progress bar knowing that you could be enjoying the game, is probably one of the least exciting aspects of gaming. Having the ability to purchase and install a game before you get home is much more convenient and leads to more spur-of-the-moment buying. Sony enabled this feature at the launch of the PS4, so having it added to Xbox One is great for competition.

The lack of 3D Blu-ray playback at the launch of both the Xbox One and PS4 was pretty baffling. Both companies had hyped 3D for their previous consoles, and then it seemed to die off. While most users weren’t fans of 3D in general, some bought into the hype these companies were using and they should have been taken care of with the new systems. This also puts the Xbox One ahead of the PS4, which still doesn’t allow 3D Blu-ray playback. Considering the entire Blu-ray format was pioneered and spearheaded by Sony, this is a very odd situation for the company to be in.

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