Microsoft over the coming months will be replacing the entire party/notification/XBL-related UI parts wholesale. They won’t be fixing them like they previously had been telling developers. This is definitely a smart move and the right decision for the console longterm but it will have some fairly significant short-term implications. They likely won’t be finished until well into spring or possibly early summer (update: one of the sources of this story just told me “It may take up to a year” HOLY CRAP). With Titanfall and Destiny around the corner – two games that are built around online play and will require solid party infrastructure for working as a team… the news that the party system won’t be replaced by then is a kick to the gut.
“Let me get into some technical detail regarding it – on 360, the OS handles all of the party and chat functionality. All you do is hook up the XBL VOiP OS API into your game, and it does most of the work for you. With it results in is a shared experience across multiple entertainment. If you’re watching movies or playing games, you can do it together. However, this system is entirely different on Xbox One. So, lets say me, you, and Thuway have xbox one’s that are online. We are signed in our profiles. Sitting at the home screen, we are considered to be in a “Xbox Party” on the server. There are no more ‘party leaders’. With that said if any one of us decide to start a game, the party is shifted over to that game’s party system. Each game now has their custom written VOIP.”
“In essence, it is almost EXACTLY how it was on the PS3, and it is in those API “handshakes” that is breaking the online experience.”
How Microsoft screwed up their console UI and OS so badly- things they have always been great at, things that they set a standard for with 360!- is beyond me. They regressed from 360 to PS3 level, while Sony took all that was good about 360 and expanded on that with PS4.