Xbox One System Update For October Is Live, With New Avatars, Alexa Support

Snazzy voice commands and video features mark this month.

43 Comments
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Now Playing: Xbox One October System Update Adds Alexa And Avatar Features - GS News Update

The Xbox One October update is rolling out today, offering a few new bells and whistles for the Microsoft console. The features in this update allow you to use more voice interactions, more easily watch HDR movies with streaming services, and personalize your Avatar.

The Xbox Skill feature lets you interact with your Xbox using Alexa or Cortana devices, with a greater degree of precision than the previous Kinect voice commands. As an example, Microsoft says you can tell Alexa to "launch Forza Horizon 4" and in response the Xbox One will start up, sign you in, and launch the game, all without additional commands needed. Other commands include starting Mixer broadcasts, capturing screenshots, and adjusting the volume. You'll need to download the Xbox Skill in the respective stores to get started.

To promote the new functionality, Amazon will be offering a bundle that includes an Amazon Echo Dot with new Xbox One S or Xbox One X purchases. That deal is coming soon, but supplies will be limited.

The newly revised Avatars are available for all users today as well. These have a focus on inclusiveness, with a greater range of body types, more accessories, and the ability to dress in any kind of clothing you'd like. You'll see the new Avatars on your own profile, in the activity feed and Gamerscore leaderboard, and more. You can use a Photobooth to take a picture of your Avatar to use as your profile image. Plus, if you want to stick with your original Avatar, that option is available too.

The update also adds Dolby Vision HDR streaming across supported televisions. For now it supports Netflix only, but Dolby Vision will expand to more apps in the coming months. You can enable it through the Settings menu. Finally the Narrator has added Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, Dutch, and Australian English.

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Avatar image for warui
Warui

"The features in this update allow you to use more voice interactions."

???

The Xbox Skill feature lets you interact with your Xbox using Alexa or Cortana devices, with a greater degree of precision than the previous Kinect voice commands. As an example, Microsoft says you can tell Alexa to "launch Forza Horizon 4"

Kinect already did that perfectly years ago!!!

If I were a former Kinect developer I would be so angry right now.

Avatar image for BigJerm1
BigJerm1

The Dolby Vision support is great and a very welcome addition. The voice commands are frivilous, just like they are on any platform, but if it makes things more convenient for some people, that's cool. If you don't like the new avatars, you can stick to the old one. Why do people complain about a completely free update that adds functionality for some people and takes nothing away?

Avatar image for warui
Warui

@BigJerm1:

Because they're just unhappy people.

Avatar image for darklordvyperx
darklordvyperx

They avatars are a little disappointing after all this waiting for them. A huge let down.

Avatar image for m4a5
m4a5

Meh, the options for the avatar app are waaay too few. My avatar looks nothing like me (when my last one was pretty darn close).

Avatar image for grynshock
Grynshock

@m4a5: exactly the same here. The new avatars are really creepy looking too!

Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

I wish Dolby Vision was in games. There's a much better picture with it than the baseline HDR-10 crap.

Honestly, I have two 65 inch 4K tv's. One is just 4K (no HDR) and the other is a Quantum Dot and has all the HDR types except Samsungs new version. I notice a similar picture with just the 4K tv. The HDR takes to much configuration between games (brightness and contrast). My regular 4K tv almost looks like the HDR-10 that games display, just not quite the black level, though sometimes I want to see in shaded areas.

If they implemented a better HDR standard, and make the console display each game evenly, on the hardware level, instead of having to adjust for the game, it would make things much easier.

Avatar image for WhoIsTheDrizzle
WhoIsTheDrizzle

Your options as a male avatar:

-skinny feminine with no reasonable male hair style options

-child bearing extreme wide hip fat man with feminine face.

-wheelchair nightmare creations.

Avatar image for solidsolo
solidsolo

The avatars look hideous

Avatar image for s7eventhheaven
S7eventhHeaven

wow makes you feel good to be an xbox one owner . what a load of pointless tat

Avatar image for Pyrosa
Pyrosa

No voice recording apps in my house; thanks. Was a real pain to completely disable each Android device's voice recording features, including the 4K TV and even its damned remote.

Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

@Pyrosa: LMAO!!! I do the same exact thing. I will take privacy over convenience any day.

Avatar image for Terminator95
Terminator95

Good Paper weight !

Avatar image for oneligas
oneligas

Xbox live is struggling right now, maybe you don't put out an update on the same say as the second biggest game of the year's release and tie up everyone in the process or something intelligent

Avatar image for fatsnoopy
Fatsnoopy

Yay! Can’t wait to see all the new and exciting menus Microsoft has added!!

Avatar image for BeefoTheBold
BeefoTheBold

The Dolby Vision HDR streaming support is the big win with this update for me personally. One thing I'd REALLY like to see is Dolby Vision HDR support for 4K physical discs.

I just don't find the voice commands compelling. I didn't back when they were on the Kinect. I don't know if this is just popular with everyone else, but I've never found it that hard to just pick up a controller and press a button to do pretty much the same thing. I suppose it IS a bit of a time saver maybe. You can tell Alexa to start things up while you take a pee or something like that, but it's just not a game changer for me personally.

Avatar image for lion2447
lion2447

@BeefoTheBold: Any of the voice command speakers are gimmiky. It's exciting for a week or so. You mess with it for a couple of days and then forget about it afterwards. Like you mentioned, pushing a button takes far less effort and is usually faster than issuing something with voice.

Avatar image for newbpwnr
newbpwnr

the xbox on pc experience is so terrible.

Avatar image for Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@newbpwnr: What are you talking about? The streaming is fkn excellent -- best I've seen. If you're using wireless less than -N-5G (or better yet, proper GigE), then you're doing it wrong.

Avatar image for newbpwnr
newbpwnr

@Pyrosa: streaming? wtf you talking about?

Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

Cool. Wonder if I'll have to see "Alexa is not available in your region" for years like I did Cortana? Apparently the region of Canada is too remote and uses too foreign a language to get Cortana to work. Seeing as how Canada is all the way out in North America and we speak the archaic language, English, I can understand the delay.

Avatar image for Sevenizz
Sevenizz

@bdrtfm: You can get Cortana in Canada - just change your language preference to English US.

It probably has something to do with our language laws why the CA version isn’t an option. Personally, I just use the old school voice method. Works great and ‘Xbox’ is a syllable less to say.

Avatar image for s7eventhheaven
S7eventhHeaven

@bdrtfm: ivan warse war i live arl this snar facks the warless

Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

@bdrtfm: Maybe it's too difficult to train the voice recognition to understand "hoase" instead of "house", "sore-y" instead of "sorry", "oat" instead of "out", etc and converting everything to metric takes extra processing time, they have to optimize that

Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

@girlusocrazy: Yeah, nobody here talks like that.

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boardsport311

@bdrtfm: Denial a?

Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

@bdrtfm: Haha ok. Maybe you can't hear it because you're used to it?

Avatar image for dr_vancouver
Dr_Vancouver

@girlusocrazy: and what do you know aboot it eh?

Avatar image for Marky360
Marky360

@bdrtfm:

Well you have to remember there are also Canadians that speak French as well so blame them for the delay lol.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

@Marky360: To be fair so do people here in Louisiana, Mississippi, New England, Florida, etc

But yeah no voice recognition system will ever be able to understand that language properly, there is way more variation in the accents, more slang, more borrowed words, to name just a few issues

Avatar image for Sevenizz
Sevenizz

@girlusocrazy: Canada has official language laws that force companies to comply with English and French options. Everything we purchase will have both languages on the packaging - including videogames.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

@Sevenizz: Sure but both Amazon Alexa and Xbox One are available in Canada already so laws aren't the issue, it must be something technical

Avatar image for Sevenizz
Sevenizz

@girlusocrazy: Alexa speaks and recognizes French.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

@Sevenizz: Ah my bad it was Cortana that isn't available on Xbox in Canada, even though you can use it in Windows 10 and Windows Phone in Canada.

Avatar image for Marky360
Marky360

@girlusocrazy:

Yea but you have to admit that French isn't as commonly spoken in those regions and furthermore they're not specifically known for a French speaking population like parts of Canada. So it's understandable that Microsoft would just push through with English voice recognition support for those regions but not for Canada as large parts of the Canada such as Quebec and Montreal speak French.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

@Marky360: There's probably way more Spanish in the US than French in Canada and they still have Echo here. MS does support multiple languages with Kinect including French and Spanish, so does Google, it's only Echo that's English-only. Guess their tech is in the early stages. Looking it up there are 7M French speakers in Canada vs 50M Spanish speakers here.

Avatar image for Marky360
Marky360

@girlusocrazy:

Yea but as that is the case I'm sure that Spanish is another language this thing is capable of I'm sure French tho is beyond its abilities as its not as common in North America and that's why Canada is shit out of luck when the US isn't even with a large Spanish speaking population.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

@Marky360: Yeah French seems tricky... Unless it's Parisian French which seems more consistent, apparently they pretty much mandate the words and accent you should use

Avatar image for Marky360
Marky360

@girlusocrazy:

Yea I'm sure Microsoft will fix it tho just slowly as per usual for them.

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robertbyronz

that's totally the wrong video for this article

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NativePixel

Dolby vision? I have an lg OLED so I’m going to test that out when I get home.