It sounds like Microsoft's new and improved Xbox Avatars won't be out until next year.

The new 2.0 avatars were expected to launch on Windows PCs this autumn and on Xbox One a little later. However, when asked on Twitter if the new Xbox Avatars would still turn up before the year's end, Microsoft's Mike Ybarra confirmed they would "most likely [be] early next year. Working to make them great. Patience will pay off."

Microsoft's new avatars were revealed back in June, and place a particular focus on diversity and inclusivity. They feature a much-expanded range of customisation options, including prosthetic arms and legs, wheelchairs, and non-gender-locked clothing. "For everybody everywhere", is how Microsoft has described them.

"At the end of the day, avatars are meant for what you want your digital self to represent," said lead product manager Bryan Saftler back at E3. "We don't want to put you in a box - there are no more checkboxes. No matter what you think you look like, what you want to represent online, this new avatar system [...] is designed to make sure you feel like you can represent your best self on Xbox Live."

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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