Xbox Makes Major Cloud Gaming Improvements

Microsoft reveals notes for a recently released Xbox Insider update that includes the addition of a major Cloud Gaming feature.

Xbox Makes Major Cloud Gaming Improvements

Highlights

  • Xbox Cloud Gaming updates bring new social features like managing friends, initiating parties, and maintaining party chats across game sessions.
  • Xbox Insiders can now preview updated social features on supported browsers, the Xbox app for Smart TVs, and Meta Quest Headsets.
  • Users playing cloud games via xbox.com/play will see a controller icon in the guide for easier controller connection on browsers.

Microsoft has unveiled a range of new social-centric features for Xbox Cloud Gaming, including the ability to discover and manage friends, initiate parties outside of gaming sessions, maintain party chats between game sessions, and more. These significant enhancements, along with fixes, are now available for Xbox Insiders enrolled in the Alpha Skip-Ahead program.

Xbox Cloud Gaming is a service provided by Microsoft as part of the Xbox ecosystem. It enables players to stream and play Xbox games on various devices such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs, eliminating the need for high-end gaming hardware. The service offers support for Xbox Game Pass titles and other games in the Xbox library.

In addition to the recently added major feature in Xbox Cloud Gaming, this new update now introduces exciting new social features. Xbox Insiders can enjoy an updated interface that includes several functionalities aimed at enhancing social interactions within the gaming community. Insiders will encounter a revamped guide that allows them to seamlessly discover and manage friends, initiate parties outside of gaming sessions, and maintain party chats across different game sessions (not currently available on Smart TVs). They can also send messages to friends, view detailed user profiles to learn more about fellow players, and check notifications and toasts conveniently. Furthermore, they can monitor achievements and track gaming accomplishments.

Additionally, users who are Xbox Insiders and play cloud games through xbox.com/play will observe a freshly introduced controller icon within the guide once they are connected and gaming on a web browser. This addition streamlines the process of connecting controllers, enhancing the overall gaming experience. To utilize these features on browsers, users must activate Preview features in their browser settings. This can be achieved by navigating to their profile picture at xbox.com/play, choosing Settings, and enabling "Preview features."

Moreover, this update incorporates numerous fixes aimed at improving system stability and user experience while playing Xbox Game Pass titles and other Xbox games. Various updates have been implemented to ensure accurate localization across the console, reflecting local languages properly. While the update brings several improvements, it also acknowledges known issues, such as intermittent audio problems reported by some users across the dashboard, games, and apps. Xbox's engineers are actively working on resolving these issues.

As the Alpha testers explore these new Xbox Cloud Gaming social-centric features, it's worth mentioning that the Insider program continues to play a vital role in shaping Xbox consoles and services. The program offers an opportunity for gamers to preview upcoming Xbox updates, test experimental software, and contribute directly to the development process of Xbox services.

Xbox Insider Release Notes

System Update Details

  • OS Version: XB_FLT_2408GE26100.1508.240404-2000
  • Available: 2 p.m. PT – April 8, 2024
  • Mandatory: 3 a.m. PT – April 9, 2024

New Features and Experiences

Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta)

Starting today, Xbox Insiders can preview updated social features when using supported browsers, the Xbox app for Smart TVs, and Meta Quest Headsets. Insiders will have an updated interface in the guide for the following actions:

  • Find and manage friends
  • Start parties outside of playing games and continue party chats between game sessions (currently not available on Smart TVs)
  • Send messages
  • View user profiles
  • View notification inbox and toasts
  • View achievements

Xbox Insiders playing cloud games via xbox.com/play will notice a controller icon in the guide when connected and playing on a browser. This supports users in connecting a controller when playing on a browser.

Note: Users on browser will need to enable Preview features on their browser to gain access to the feature. This is done by clicking on your profile picture at xbox.com/play and then select Settings and then enable “Preview features.”

Fixes Included

Thanks to all the great feedback Xbox Insiders provide and the hard work of Xbox engineers, we are happy to announce the following fixes have been implemented with this build:

System

  • Various updates to properly reflect local languages across the console.
  • Note: Users participating in Preview may see “odd” text across the console.

While known issues may have been listed in previous Xbox Insider Release Notes, they are not being ignored! However, it may take Xbox engineers more time to find a solution. If you experience any of these issues, we ask that you please follow any guidance provided and file feedback with Report a Problem.

Audio

  • Some users have reported experiencing intermittent audio issues across the dashboard, games, and apps.
  • Troubleshooting: If you do experience issues, please confirm your TV and all other equipment have the latest firmware installed. If you are unsure, you may need to contact the manufacturer for assistance. You can also find additional troubleshooting tips here: Troubleshoot audio on your Xbox console.
  • Feedback: If you continue to experience issues after applying the latest firmware and troubleshooting further, please submit feedback via Report a Problem when you are experiencing the issue. Use the “Reproduce with advanced diagnostics” option, then select the category “Console experiences” and “Console Audio Output Issues”.
  • Note: Be sure to include as much information as possible about the issue, when it started, your setup, troubleshooting you have completed, and any additional information that will help us reproduce the issue.

Capture & Share

  • We have received reports of unexpected behavior when viewing HDR screenshots in the Captures app, and we are investigating.

Networking

  • We are investigating reports of an issue where the console may not connect to the network immediately on boot. If you experience this, be sure to report the issue via Report a Problem as soon as you’re able.
  • Workaround: Wait a minute or two for the connection to establish. If your console still hasn’t connected, restart your Xbox from the Power Center or the guide then file feedback with Report a Problem.

OneGuide

  • Some users have reported OneGuide failing to launch, freezing shortly thereafter, or seeing an unexpected black screen, and we are investigating.

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