Xbox One update will fix "hidden, harder to use" social features

"The feedback we've gotten is pretty valid."

Fixing Xbox One's unintuitive social features will be the focus of the console's first major firmware update, Microsoft has said.

Core features such as your Friends list, Parties, Avatars and Achievements are now spread across various layers of the dashboard and separated into individual system apps - it gives the system a cleaner look, but makes previously easy-to-reach features a chore to find and use.

"The feedback we've gotten is pretty valid," Xbox exec Marc Whitten admitted to Engadget. "Some of the social stuff is hidden or harder to use than it was on the Xbox 360. So you're gonna 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."

Whitten isn't overstating the point: early Xbox One adopters have been extremely vocal at how difficult it is to use certain system features - and how some basic functionality is missing completely.

A number of users have been sharing their feature requests in a constructive way - via the unofficial XboxFeedback.com project that lists the most commonly-requested features and fixes.

"What I'm trying to do with the team is kind of theme some stuff up," Whitten continued. "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."

Happily, Whitten intimated an update appears relatively close to release. What might take longer, he hinted, was the Xbox One's missing game-streaming functionality.

"This is not 100 percent, but my general strategy at E3 is to talk about things that are gonna happen from that E3 to the next E3," he explained, suggesting the previously-announced feature could - although not definitely would - be ready before this year's conference in June. "We are not yet to the next E3."

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