Xbox One March Update Preview – Thoughts On The Changes

As a preview member on the Xbox One, I get to download the updates a good few weeks before their general release. It is both a gift and a curse – I love getting hands on with the updates as early as possible, but I’ve also had plenty of issues joining parties with friends who aren’t running the same system version as me. In all though, I love being able to play with all of these new features.

This update’s new features are, in all, relatively minor changes. Although the most significant change in the Xbox One March update is a real doozey – we can finally take screenshots on our Xbox One! This is something I’ve been looking forward to for some time now, and I’ve been endlessly jealous of my PS buddies who have had the feature on the PS4 for a good while. Currently, you’re able to take a screenshot by either double tapping the ‘Home’ button on the Xbox One controller and pressing ‘Y’ or by using the Kinect through the voice command “Xbox Take a Screenshot”.

But, at the moment, I wouldn’t say that it’s quite perfect. Sadly, if you pause the game on your ‘perfect moment’ and then take the screenshot, all you’ll get is a screenshot of the pause menu. So it really is about timing! Ideally, Microsoft will introduce a multi-capture setting, so that you could capture a number of screenshots to ensure that you’ve caught your perfect moment. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the ‘double tap and Y’ option, whilst easiest to use, can lead you to accidentally jumping out of a moving car on GTA V, or playing a rogue through ball on FIFA 15… as I found out the hard way. I still got the screenshot though, so I guess it was worth it in the end. Really, if there was something epic that you wanted to capture, you’re best off setting it up so that you can take the screenshot in your own time – i.e. a massive explosion on GTA V. Of course, screenshots aren’t really for capturing spur of the moment things. Massive car crashes on Forza or scoring a wonder-goal on FIFA is for video-footage. Still, a multi-capture option would mean that you could capture a specific moment, like the peak of that car-crash, in really high quality.

At the moment, we’re unable to share screenshots, but they’re currently being saved in Upload under ‘My captures’ – and they’re mixed in with the game clips. However, you are able to filter between screenshots and clips, which is incredibly helpful. At present, you’re not able to mix screenshots in with your edited Upload videos, but I’m sure you’ll be able to sooner or later. As for sharing the screenshots, the update notes state that this will be brought in later on this March, and it will be refined in subsequent updates. Whether that means they’ve held the feature until the update rolls out for everyone on Xbox One, or if it means that the feature will be added after the update’s rollout date, is anyone’s guess. If I was a betting man, however, I’d say that the feature will be held until the release of the update for the entire community. I’d imagine that Twitter sharing will be possible and, hopefully, you should be able to upload them to your One Drive so that you can then share them whenever and wherever you please – the same way that you can share Upload created videos on other platforms. Still, for the time being at least, you’re able to use screenshots as an Xbox One background. It’s probably not something I’d do personally, but it’s definitely a great start for this feature. It also brings me on quite nicely to the next feature of the March update.

UPDATE: I’ve managed to get the screenshot share feature working! FEAST YOUR EYES:

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Tile transparency settings! The February update brought transparent tiles to the Xbox One, which I personally really appreciated because it has highlighted our personalised backgrounds. I am sure, however, that not everyone liked the new feature. It removed an element of choice, going from forced block tiles to forced transparent tiles. Now, however, you’re able to choose how transparent the tiles are. You have a choice between ‘Solid’, ‘Mostly Solid’, ‘Partly Transparent’ and ‘Mostly Transparent’. For me, I’m all about transparency so that I can see as much of my background as possible. Still, having the option and freedom of choice should hopefully keep everyone happy!

The last two features that I want to mention are ‘Suggested Friends’ and the ability to share your real name. Sharing your real name has had a bit of an update, so now you can choose between two options – sharing with just your friends or sharing with the entire Xbox Live community. I think it’s a good idea, because not everyone would want the entirety of Xbox Live being able to see their real name, but might like to share it with their buddies, or new friends that they’ve made over XBL. Suggested friends works kind of like the Facebook suggested friends feature. It basically highlights other people who are friends with your friends. This way you’re able to connect with more people and possibly make some new besties in the process. Sure, these are both minor changes, but I really like the direction that Microsoft are taking this console. They’re making it about the community, about sharing your love for video-games and connecting with people from across the world – and I’m totally game for that.

In all, the Xbox One March update has brought in some really exciting changes. For me, the ability to take screenshots has been a long time coming, and when you add this to the major update brought to the Upload Studio, we should be able to make some really professional looking game videos.