E3 2017: Xbox One Avatars Are Being Overhauled

Birkenstocks and VR is fashion I can get behind.

40 Comments
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Now Playing: Xbox One X Reveal Trailer - Microsoft Press Conference E3 2017

Since the days of the Xbox 360, players have been able to create an Xbox Live Avatar--a customizable, digital person that serves as an identifier for your profile. Although they rarely get much attention anymore, that hasn't stopped Microsoft from working on a significant overhaul of the customization system. It announced today "Avatars 2.0," a new, more robust Avatar creator that has a lot more options. You can see a gallery of some of the changes below.

On its Xbox Daily show at E3 2017, Microsoft revealed the revamp, detailing some of the changes that are coming. First and foremost, this is not just new items and sliders--the entire Avatar creator has been rebuilt in the Unity engine. Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, designer Kathryn Storm, and project manager Bryan Saftler explained that the system now supports a much higher level of diversity as a result of this new engine.

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"Our new Avatars are built with inclusivity absolutely in mind, with absolutely more options," Storm said. "We want people to feel like we have endless options to really reflect who they are."

"At the end of the day, Avatars are meant for whatever you want your digital self to represent," Saftler stated.

Part of this effort for greater diversity is that the new system won't restrict players to wearing a particular gender's clothing. Anything available can be worn by any Avatar, regardless of gender or appearance.

Finally, the new engine allows for a much greater compatibility between item and Avatar. Statler explained that the goal was to make it so that the items--clothing, mounts, and more--feel like they're part of the character. Microsoft hopes that this will create possibilities for better games that integrate Avatars into their gameplay.

The new system will be released this fall for Windows 10 and Xbox One. This is just one of the many things that Microsoft has announced this week; for more, you can check out our roundup of all the news from its E3 2017 press conference. In addition, GameSpot spoke to Head of Xbox Phil Spencer this morning, asking him about console wars, the possibility of PS4 Pro holding back the Xbox One X, and what "console launch exclusive" means.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for illegal_peanut
illegal_peanut

I really hope they do an update so you can finally see your avatar.

Because you see the back of your own head more times then you see your avatar on your own xbox one.

Avatar image for bigmommyb
BigmommyB

New body types? Thick thighs is not fat. Where the hell is my BBW body type? What about the chunky Gamer dudes? Where are those body types?

Avatar image for karloss01
karloss01

I see this as a waste of resources unless they redesign the dashboard. With the 360 they were always around so there was a reason to customise them but now its just a wall of ads and items I can't uninstall.

Avatar image for voreo
voreo

" Who asked for this"

Not many, but i knew they'd update em eventually.
At least they didnt make a big deal of it at E3

Avatar image for m4a5
m4a5

I've always enjoyed making avatars, so this is welcomed.

Avatar image for harcsh
harcsh

Finally I can look like a woman!

-Some female from Andromeda.

Avatar image for illegal_peanut
illegal_peanut

@harcsh: So you want your avatar to look like a girl with a really tired face, from everything?

Avatar image for iammcgruber
IAmMcGruber

MS, stop spending money on worthless shit. Who even looks at other people's avatars?

Avatar image for illegal_peanut
illegal_peanut

@iammcgruber: Knowing Microsoft this probable costed them 0.015% of there normal funds. For a projects like this.

Avatar image for iammcgruber
IAmMcGruber

@illegal_peanut: well .015% of let's say, even 100 million,(which its likely much more than that) for it's games department, adds up. Id rather them use that money to enhance a current game they're working on or use it to invest in a new project rather than avatar clothes. I guess I just see it as a waste, others may like it

Avatar image for illegal_peanut
illegal_peanut

@iammcgruber: Amen to that.

Avatar image for nativepixel
NativePixel

@iammcgruber: what the hell does this have to do with money? Tf?

Avatar image for iammcgruber
IAmMcGruber

@nativepixel: you think they don't have to pay employees to sit their and come up with avatar designs? Do you know nothing about business

Avatar image for overachiever89
Overachiever89

I don't identify as a male of female. I identify as a baked potato so Microsoft better have the option to wear butter and sour cream or I'm calling my attorney

Avatar image for bigmommyb
BigmommyB

@overachiever89: don't be a transphobic

douchebag.

Avatar image for bigmommyb
BigmommyB

@overachiever89: GFY

Avatar image for overachiever89
Overachiever89

@bigmommyb: update from my previous response: turned out a girl I work with wanted me to come over. So no need for me to GFM tonight.

Avatar image for overachiever89
Overachiever89

@bigmommyb: maybe when I get off work tonight. We'll see how I'm feeling

Avatar image for brownyyy
brownyyy

God I hope they bring back of the avatar games from the 360 days.

Avatar image for egb72
egb72

I wanted To be fat but still looked kind of skinny. I hope the new system adds some weight to it. lol

Avatar image for illegal_peanut
illegal_peanut

@egb72: There might be a "fluffy" fat setting. But, I don't know about a "Daaaamn!" fat setting.

Avatar image for Pr0ving4Gr0undz
Pr0ving4Gr0undz

Whats the point? You hardly ever see them.

Avatar image for chiefwiggum16
chiefwiggum16

I forgot I even had an avatar. Not sure why they are even still around as they are nowhere to be found in games, apps, or anything really.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

What... Who the hell was even asking for this? Just... forget the avatars and work on a new IP or something

Avatar image for leblnk
leblnk

Not a huge fan of avatars but these do look good.

Avatar image for SuplexKirby
SuplexKirby

Looks way better than the ugly current avatars.

Avatar image for jimmydonegood
jimmydonegood

Looks awesome. I'm in.

Avatar image for angrycreep
angrycreep

Avatar was famous in the 360 and has almost disappeared in the Xbox one. You barely even spot your avatar in the Xbox One dashboard. They should just get rid of them all together.

Avatar image for slam_shot_sam
slam_shot_sam

Should have just gotten rid of them instead.

Avatar image for Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Umm, okay... Can't remember the last time I changed anything on my avatar, other than it was definitely on the 360.

edit/add: Reagan2791 below is exactly correct on why that is. They used to be a ~fun, prevalent feature when flipping through Friends.

Avatar image for Reagan2791
Reagan2791

The problem with avatars on Xbox One is they're tucked away in your profile out of sight, out of mind. You never see your own avatar unless you visit your profile and no one else is taking time to visit a friends profile just to see their avatar.

Avatar image for tonyleo01
tonyleo01

@Reagan2791: I feel like Xbox Avatar was just to ride the popularity of Mii back in the Wii hay day. Same with the late PSHome avatars. Now I don't know even know why they are there unless MS plans to do something more with it.

Avatar image for chiefwiggum16
chiefwiggum16

@tonyleo01: That pic with the VR Headset has me thinking they will have a place in Hololens or Oculus soon

Avatar image for bellzemo
bellzemo

@Reagan2791: I am new to the whole Xbox avatar thing but thats a good point. Do your messengers/community presence and what not have your avatar shown?

Avatar image for Reagan2791
Reagan2791

@bellzemo: Nope. You can take a picture of your avatar and use it as your gamer pic but even that is small and goes unnoticed. Wasn't like that on 360.

Avatar image for leblnk
leblnk

@Reagan2791: And even that's irrelevant now because the ability to add custom profile pics with USB.

Avatar image for bellzemo
bellzemo

@Reagan2791: Oh, thats kind of ass backwards? Makes me wonder if they think of these things when making new operating systems? :D