Update 6: The day many Alpha Insiders have been waiting for is finally here! Today’s Xbox One build fixes the aggravating issue which didn’t allow certain users to access the Xbox Store. According to the patch notes, Microsoft has “fixed an issue which prevented users from accessing the Store when the console is set to one of the following language and region configurations: English (Greece), English (Czech Republic), English (Hungary), English (Slovakia).” Unfortunately, there’s a new issue plaguing Xbox Insiders. Certain content is sometimes missing when Home loads. The company is aware of the problem and is working on a fix. This same build will apparently go out to Beta Insiders tomorrow, April 28.
A new Xbox One build is rolling out to Alpha Insiders at 6 PM PDT tonight which adds new features. Build 1705 will focus on Arena, Party Chat and other enhancements to the preview experience. However, the features will roll out to Insiders in phases so don’t be alarmed if you don’t make the initial cut. The main addition has to be the the ability to see who’s speaking during Party Chat.
When Snap was around, you had to keep the window open and limit your gaming screen to see who was talking. Now that Snap has been removed, it’s no longer possible to see who is talking without opening the Guide. That obviously takes you out of the game or pauses it. If you’re playing a multiplayer game, it’s impossible without ending up being mercilessly slaughtered by the opposing team. Luckily, the ability returns as an overlay with the latest update. Seeing who was talking while playing a game unsnapped has been a fan-requested feature for years and it’s finally here! Dreams do come true.
The ability to see who is talking during Party Chat is vital because multiplayer gaming can be quite a hectic experience. Any gamer will know that it’s hard to sometimes identify who’s speaking especially if they’re panicking or need help in a large group. For example, if you’re playing with 3 other people in Halo 5 and one of your teammates needs help, it can be difficult to decipher who the cries are coming from. That’s happened to me on many occasions where I was confused and couldn’t determine who to rush to. The overlay is definitely a blessing for me since I regularly play Halo 5 multiplayer and coordination is key.
Additionally, here are additional details and more changes coming the the latest builds. Some of them are quite surprising like the ability for Kinect to locate you during streams. The main features are as follows:
- Later this month Killer Instinct on Arena is back for select Xbox Insiders. You can discover, register and play in both official and user-generated tournaments in Clubs across Xbox One and Windows 10.
- With this update the Xbox Team are adding a new overlay that will tell you who’s speaking in your Party, without having to open the Guide. When you are in a Party, go to the Guide to enable the overlay. Just like the Achievement tracker, you can choose where on the screen you want to place the overlay and how transparent it will be.
- Share your Looking for Group post on the Activity Feed or through a message.
- Unfollow a Club or Game directly from your Activity Feed.
- Your profile will display your Arena tournament history and upcoming tournaments.
- For Beam and Twitch broadcasts, you will now have an option in the Guide for your Kinect to locate you automatically.
- Captive Portal support for wireless internet is coming to Xbox One, which allows for Wi-Fi authentication through a browser. This feature is great for colleges, hotels or public Wi-Fi locations. So, if you’re one of those people who likes to bring their Xbox One to airports and other public places, this should be the best addition ever.
- On the Xbox companion for Windows 10, the team is adding the option to select the audio input and output sources for Party chat.
As always, keep in mind that the update isn’t perfect as there are bound to be issues and bugs. Microsoft hasn’t released the official patch notes yet but we’ll keep you posted when they do. However, Microsoft has a history of quickly patching severe problems so you have nothing to fear—to some degree. Hopefully you’ll be one of the lucky Insiders to try the new features with the latest update.
Update 1: Microsoft provided the changelog for the update which will release later on today. The company did not issue any known issues alerts so here’s hoping it works well. If you encounter any problems, be sure to report them on the Insider portal. The changes are as follows:
Preview ALPHA Ring – new build available at 6.00pm PDT today.
Welcome to 1705 on Xbox One! This month we’re rolling out a new party overlay, more fan-requested improvements, and later this month…Killer Instinct and World of Tanks tournaments powered by Arena on Xbox Live! You can read more about the features coming in this update on the Xbox News Wire.
Update 2: The Xbox One build included a lot of errors and Microsoft released a fix a day later which rectified the screen dimming during video playback. Unfortunately, some problems remains like the inability to access the Xbox Store from certain regions and the visual problems when small black squares appear on the Party Chat overlay. Microsoft is working to fix both these issues and they should be resolved in the coming days.
Update 3: According to various reports on social media and Reddit, the latest Xbox One build finally fixes the update interruptions issue. The patch which rolled out to Alpha Insiders allows testers to download an Xbox One update in the background and instead of having their console be unusable for the next 20 minutes or so, continue playing their game or watching a movie. When the update is downloaded, they can supposedly restart the console and it will apply the patch. Xbox One owners have been asking for this since the device launched in 2013 and it looks like it’s finally here!
Update 4: It looks like this build had a lot of issues. Microsoft released another patch on April 21 for Alpha Insiders which fixes the aggravating contextual menu problem. Home pressing the menu button while the main tile is selected on home should now raise the contextual menu. Unfortunately, the black boxes still appear on the Party Chat overlay and some users still can’t access the Xbox Store. These are known issues being worked on by the Xbox Team right now. Hopefully they’ll be fixed by another patch this weekend.
Update 5: A new Xbox One build went out to Alpha Insiders on April 25 which fixes the annoying black squares over the chat overlay glitch. Apart from that, another error which caused Home to appear as a program in the Guide has also been addressed. Unfortunately, there are still some lingering issues. For example, you can’t install Minecraft updates if you dismiss the prompt when it asks you to immediately update. Apart from that, some users still can’t access the Xbox Store. It looks like the Xbox Store issue will take a while to fix so hang in there if you’re experiencing it. Hopefully Microsoft will release more patches later this week to further improve the experience.