Microsoft’s promised overhaul of their Xbox Avatars is finally here, coming as part of the October Update for Xbox One that is rolling out right now. It might be over a year since it was announced, and much later than anticipated, but these avatars are much more detailed and flexible than before, giving a huge boost to the system’s inclusivity and diversity.
Beyond that, a big new feature is the Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa, allowing for interoperability between the two. It’s currently only available in the US, but downloading either persona’s Skill Store will get you started and let you use an Amazon Echo to turn on or launch a particular game.
It’s quite depressing to think that all of these commands used to be natively processed by the Xbox One via Kinect, which Microsoft took out back when it turned out to be a massive flop, only to bring all these features back with longer and more convoluted command phrases via Alexa and Cortana.
Dolby Vision support is now included for video streaming on supported LG TVs, with Dolby’s standard going further than regular HDR10 content in colour accuracy and HDR depth. Netflix is the first streaming service that will provide this stuff, but other services (such as Amazon Prime) will follow soon.
And lastly, the Narrator accessibility feature has been updated with Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, Dutch, and an Australian English version, so Aussies don’t have to put up with US or UK accents coming from their Xbox!
Source: Major Nelson