Xbox One’s April System Update To Introduce Cross-Gen Voice Messages, Chat Improvements, And More – Now In Preview

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Xbox One’s April update is bringing good things to the console’s party, chat, and messaging systems, Microsoft revealed today.

Now in Preview, the April System update will overhaul Xbox Live’s Party Chat by moving the service to a dedicated relay server configuration. In doing so, the change aims to drastically cut down on various network errors that users may occasionally experience while in chat. Additional improvements will make it easier to troubleshoot other setting errors that can prevent party members from using the service.

A new Voice Message feature will also allow gamers to send messages as audio, instead of text, the best part being that it will work across generations — from Xbox One to Xbox One, or Xbox One to Xbox 360.

Furthermore, the update will build on Xbox One’s Game Hubs, making them easier to discover, and will add descriptions to Achievement notifications. Lastly, new tweaks are also in store for the Xbox One’s What’s On feature.

Check out the full update notes below, courtesy of Xbox Wire, as well as the preview video above with Xbox Live’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb and Xbox Engineering’s Richard Irving.

Xbox One April Update Preview

Voice messages

“New this month is the No. 1 feature requested in the Friends and Parties area on the Xbox Feedback site > ‘Add audio message …’ Xbox One preview program members will be able to compose and playback voice messages in the messages app when snapped on Xbox One. Quickly and easily record audio to send to your friends or others through your snapped messages app accessed through a simple quick double tap of the Xbox button. Additionally, voice messages can be exchanged between Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles.”

Dedicated servers for party chat

“We are committed to continuing to make improvements to party chat, designed to improve quality, reliability, and ease of use. We’re enhancing party chat with dedicated chat relay servers. This new service will enable Xbox One owners that may have historically had NAT issues to party chat more reliably. Parties where players are unable to form direct peer-to-peer connections for party chat will automatically leverage dedicated server infrastructure to relay traffic.”

“Currently, this service is only enabled for parties where one or more members are enrolled in the Xbox One Preview program. Those preview consoles enable the service for their party chat sessions, even if some of the party participants are not part of the preview program.”

What’s On

“The Xbox engineering team is continuing to experiment with the What’s On area, which highlights popular games, movies, TV shows, game broadcasts and clips. What’s On has been available for preview members in the U.S. and this month, the preview of this feature is being expanded to Canada and the UK as well. Additionally, the ‘Staff Picks”’are now more personalized based on your recent game activity, and we’re introducing new experiments with Twitter Trending TV, and Game Clips for subsets of the preview audience.”