Social and Communication Advances
The voice chatting, messaging and friending that were possible on the Xbox 360 are available on Xbox One, but in some ways they've been taken to a whole new level. We've already heard about Game DVR video sharing, multiplayer matching and community achievements, but Xbox One boasts even more new social and communication features.
The updated Friends app seems to have adopted some of the functionality of popular social networking sites. It allows you to add up to 1,000 friends and closely follow their Xbox One activities, depending on how they set their privacy settings. You can view your friends' profiles and friend lists, and you can monitor all friend activity via a constantly updating news feed. You can also use it to view your own activities, achievements, reputation, and numbers of friends and followers, and to watch any of your uploaded DVR clips. If you have a core group of friends you game with a lot, you'll be able to add them to to your favorites and find them quickly.
You can even follow users who aren't your friends and view limited information about them, like their scores and achievements. If two people follow each other, they are put into each others' friends lists. But if others having access to that information doesn't sound appealing, you can block your profile to prevent anyone from following you.
On the live communication front, Xbox One now allows you to make and receive 1080p high-definition video calls via Skype with anyone else on a supported platform. You need to have broadband Internet and an Xbox Live Gold membership, and, of course, all involved parties need to have TV, Web cam and messaging clients that can handle it. With Group Video Chat, you can talk to up to three people besides yourself at a given time. Long distance is free.
Skype can be run alongside another application if you want to multitask. And to make things even more futuristic, Kinect can tell who in the room is participating in the conversation and can pan over and zoom in on the speaker, or expand its view to cover multiple participants.