Earlier this month, Microsoft revealed that its spring update would come in two portions. The first was supposed to come yesterday and focuses more on general user experience. This includes bringing back the battery indicator for the controller and allowing gamers more control over their download queues. The March update is all about Titanfall, and Microsoft gave us a little more information on what we can expect with that update.
Microsoft is calling Titanfall the biggest game launch of the year. High praise, especially when we're still in the first quarter. Still, the company wants to be sure it is adequately prepared for this massive multiplayer game and is making some tweaks to its multiplayer and party gaming functionality. The first change is that you'll be able to get to your friends list more quickly because it's going to be right on the homepage of the Friends application. Party Chat is also going to be enabled by default.
Another improvement is that you'll be able to chat with friends playing different games (Party Chat is going to be separated from people playing your game) and you'll be able to see a list of recent members you've played with. This should make it easier to add people you've played with but aren't already friends with. Lastly, you'll be able to invite friends to your game from right inside a title's menu. This option will be added to multiplayer games going forward.
The roll out date for this update isn't final yet, but Microsoft wants to get everything in place ahead of the March 11 Titanfall launch. Developed by Respawn Entertainment, Titanfall is the brainchild of Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella and was originally supposed to be for the Xbox 360. Three years in the making, the game garnered numerous awards at E3 last year and will hit both Xbox One and PC on March 11. Later in March, the game will become available for Xbox 360.
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You know, I've been pc gaming since before I was console gaming, but I still wouldn't pass on console gaming for the thing that I *thought* was of central importance in the gamin arena - mainly, games. Currently going through almost a decade of games from the JRGP "Tales of XXXXX" series and, frankly, it's the most fun I've had in a game since Mass Effect 2. While certain things are nice to have, isn't focusing on console OS "features" kind of beside the point? Heck, I'm still waiting for Steam to put in the invisible mode myself and thousands of users have been asking for since the service came out, and I still use it, despite that being a feature I *desperately* want. You know how much of a downer it is to know that every time I sign on to Steam to play Civilization V online with one of my buddies my nephew will see me on and not playing with him, and then my sister will be asking me to make more time to play with the nephew in the future?
Sometimes it's good to remind yourself that these things are built to play games and that's generally what you want to buy them for - unless you're *really* buying into the whole console-as-media-center thing. As it stands, neither of these new consoles have games that are convincing me to buy them, but if/when they do, I won't be sitting there saying "Well, the console doesn't have an overt enough battery indicator for my controllers - I think I'll pass until it does."