Xbox One's New Multiplayer Features, Emojis Rolling Out Today for Some
Clubs and Looking for Group features are now live for Preview program members.
Those enrolled in the system's Preview program will gain access to both Clubs and the Looking for Group features today, with those features then coming to the PC and mobile Xbox app "soon." These are two of the three social-centric features Microsoft discussed at E3, with the third being Arena, the online tournament platform. More news regarding that is promised in the next few weeks.
As for what is available today, Clubs are essentially groups that you can create or join with likeminded people in order to create communities. "As a Club member, you'll be able to set up parties, play games, share content, and easily communicate using voice and text chat with the Club across Xbox One and the Xbox app," Xbox partner group program manager Scott Henson explained in an Xbox Wire blog post.
"You can search for Clubs (or create your own) in the Community tab on Xbox One and the Clubs section on other devices, and Clubs associated with a game will be accessible in the title's Game Hub. As a Club admin, you'll have the tools to ensure that everyone is having a great time and help create a lively and inclusive environment. Reserve your Club name today as no two can be the same!"
Looking for Group serves as the same sort of function as in MMOs, but for all Xbox games. You can use it to find other players to join up with to do specific things--hunt for Achievements or play a certain game mode in a particular game.
"[G]amers can browse open LFGs and request to join the ones that they're interested in," Henson explained. "The LFG host chooses from the list of gamers who have expressed interest and, once the group is full or the host is ready, the host can quickly get those people into party chat and start playing. Quick, easy, and simple. Whether you're playing a FPS on Xbox One or your favorite PC title, you can quickly find other gamers to play with on Xbox Live."
Also available to Preview program members today is a redesigned Gamerscore leaderboard (something we saw teased recently) and emoji support. There's no word yet on when all of this will be available to non-Preview members.
According to Microsoft's Mike Ybarra on Twitter, the rollout of these features is staggered, meaning some Preview users may not see them immediately.