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Plugged In

Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One update will target social features

Plugged In

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(Credit: Microsoft)

The Xbox One may have gotten out to a strong sales start, but there have been a few bumps along the way -- especially with the system’s social features.

Many of those problems could be going away in the near future, though, as Microsoft has announced it’s working on a significant update for its next-generation system, intended to address user criticisms.

Mark Whitten, a corporate VP at the company, confirmed the fix was on the way in a chat with Engadget at CES.

"The feedback we've gotten is pretty valid; some of the social stuff is hidden or harder to use than it was on the Xbox 360,” he said. “So you're going to see us come out with an update where, well, we're going to fix those things. As a person who's been pretty involved in building Xbox Live for the last decade, I take it pretty seriously when people say it's harder to get into a party, and the defaults aren't right, and I don't like the model.”

“So what I'm trying to do with the team is kind of theme some stuff up. Let's take an update and really go through a big list of what we're hearing from customers, what we know is broken with the architecture, areas that we want to improve or complete. I think that's a theme you'll really see us push on -- that Live experience."

So what exactly is going to be changed? Whitten didn’t get into specifics. He did note, though, that the company plans to get apps out faster and make improvements to the TV functionality of the system.

And while he didn’t specify a time frame, Engadget notes he dropped hints in the talk that the update might not be as far off as you’d think.

Don’t look for game streaming to be necessarily included in that patch, though. While Sony’s PlayStation 4 launched with Twitch TV integration, Microsoft has been a bit slower in adopting streaming. Twitch has been a tremendous hit on the PS4; between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3, 20 percent of all of Twitch’s broadcasters were PS4 owners.

Expect updates to the Xbox One to come more frequently than they did on the Xbox 360, too. In taking this approach, Microsoft hopes to quell any complaints and problems before they grow into serious, widespread issues.

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