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Microsoft Rolling out New Creators Update for Xbox & Windows Insiders

At the start of the week Microsoft started to roll out a Creators Update for those members in the Xbox and Windows 10 Insider Programs. The updates will all start to happen in batches, so you won’t necessarily have these updates straight away.However for gamers, the Creators Update is all about performance, people, competition and streaming – getting you to the things you care about most as quickly as possible.

Here is a look at some of the new features…

An updated look at Home (Xbox One): One of the first things you’ll notice on your Xbox One is a new look for Home. Microsoft’s goal was to simplify the UI and increase overall system performance, and that starts with updating Home based on what you care most about for the games you play.

For example on the Home side when you get the update you will notice the main tile for what you’re currently playing has changed. Now, you’ll see a smaller icon for the game and a few options to dive deeper into the Game Hub, interact with your Club or LFG for that game, view your Achievements, and more.

The updated Home also celebrates the game you’re currently playing with hero art in the background when you’re not using a custom background.

Faster and more intuitive Guide: The next thing you’re likely to notice is that Guide has been updated. With one press of the Xbox button on your controller, you can pull up the newly enhanced Guide as an overlay on the left side of your screen, no matter what you’re doing. With the Guide, Microsoft have added new features and functionality. You’ll notice that there’s a new start page. This page is designed to get you to the content you care about most, including your games and apps, Home, Store, your recently played games and apps, and your top Pins. It also features quick access to your media controls when playing background music.

New way to multitask: In addition to adding a new start page to Guide, Microsoft have dropped the snap function (to improve performance) and have decided to evolve the multitasking system instead. Details are thin on the ground at the moment but basically to simplify discoverability and to make it much quicker to get to the things you care about most, the multitasking features will be designed to work well with the new Guide. For example in addition to quick access to music, screen shots and GameDVR will be one button press away. You can also bring up Guide and press “X” or “Y” on your controller to record your favourite gaming moments. Additionally they have added a new achievement tracker which allows you to track your favourite achievements and play at the same time. The new Guide is also where you will be able to broadcast instantly to Beam* when this rolls out to Insiders in the next couple of weeks.

Cortana gaming enhancements: There are a series of new Cortana updates to make your Xbox One smarter. In this first part of the update, you can set reminders and alarms so you don’t miss gaming sessions. In the coming weeks, Microsoft will be releasing more Cortana updates to enhance your gaming experience even more as well as continued performance and reliability updates.

CreatorsUpdate 1
Improving system updates:
  Speaking of updates it will now be clearer when a system update is available. To enable this Microsoft are updating the interface so the steps are easy to understand. They are also going to enable every Xbox One owner to keep their console, games, and apps up to date independent of which power mode they have chosen.

Enabling Xbox One to be accessible for everyone:  Accessibility options have been improved. For example there is a new Copilot feature which allows two controllers to act as if they were one. This will help make Xbox One more inviting to new gamers needing assistance, more fun by adding cooperative controls for any game, and easier for players who need unique configurations to play - whether that is with hands apart, hand and chin, hand and foot, etc..

They are also adding new enhancements to Magnifier and Narrator, as well as giving more options over audio output and custom rumble settings on a controller, which was previously reserved for the Xbox Elite Controller. You can find these accessibility options, and more, in Settings > Ease of Access.

New spatial audio output settings for developers: To enable more immersive experiences for Xbox One, Microsoft have added a number of audio output features in Settings. If you are a developer on Xbox One, the new settings will allow you to add Dolby Atmos for Home Theater, Dolby Atmos for Headphones, and Windows HRTF support to your streaming media application or game. 

Blu-ray player bitstream passthrough beta: The Blu-ray disc player on Xbox One now supports a beta of bitstream passthrough, which allows your receiver to decode audio natively. All bitstream formats are supported, including newer ones like Dolby Atmos.

The above is the first wave of features but by now some people will start to experience additional features for both Xbox One and Windows 10 users in the Inside preview program…

Here is more info on the continuing features in The Creators update…

CreatorsUpdate 3
*Built-in Beam streaming (Xbox One, Windows 10 PC):
For the creators out there, Microsoft wanted to make it easier for you to start your live game streams without any delays so you can quickly connect and engage with your viewers no matter where they are. On Beam, streams have under one second of delay; using a brand new streaming protocol dubbed “FTL”, you can interact with livestreams as if you were in the same room as the caster. 

What’s more, any stream can incorporate simple interactive features such as sound boards. Coming later on Windows 10 PCs, you can start Beam broadcasts by pulling up the Game bar - Windows key + G. And coming soon on Xbox One, you can also begin streaming directly from inside the Guide. The ability to manage your Beam broadcasts and interact with fellow gamers on chat will appear as overlays.

Game Mode (Windows 10 PC):  From what we can tell a few select titles will support this feature but when enabled games in the foreground will be optimised in terms of CPU/GPU performance. Learn more in the video at the base of the article.

CreatorsUpdate 2
Gaming section in System Settings (Windows 10 PC):
Inside the main Windows System Settings, a new section is being added: ‘Gaming’, identified with the Xbox logo. When this update releases, you’ll find settings for Game bar, GameDVR and broadcasting in this new Gaming area, with Game Mode coming in a future update. Microsoft are also beginning to consolidate some system and user settings for gaming in this unified location, where PC users are accustomed to accessing their settings.

New Cortana gaming enhancements (Xbox One): Alongside the above Cortana features in the next stage of the update Microsoft have added features to enhance the gaming experience even more, such as voice controls for Party commands and using Cortana to play music. They have also streamlined the UI and improved things behind the scenes to make your experience better.

Screen time (Xbox One): Parental controls are a huge priority for Microsoft, as they strive to offer the most comprehensive and customisable family features possible so gamers of all ages feel safe and secure when using the platforms. That’s why the family timer is coming to Xbox One as screen time, updated for today’s digital family.

Parents familiar with screen time for Windows 10 will find a similar set of controls for Xbox. Set daily time allowance and limits on the web for each child—your Xbox will pick those limits up and enforce them whenever the child is signed in. Screen time for Xbox One will be available soon. To prepare, head over to microsoft.com/family, sign in with the account you use for Xbox Insider access, and make sure your children’s accounts are all set up as a part of your family. When Xbox screen time is available, you’ll be able to manage it there.

That’s all for the updates this week, but there’s plenty more to come for gamers on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. So stay tuned for more info.

Source: [Major Nelson]

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