Supercharged Xbox Live enhances cloud support for Xbox One

Microsoft announced a revamp of Xbox Live for the upcoming Xbox One console. Here are the changes.

Achievements will now be "dynamic and changing." James Martin/CNET

The Xbox One was just announced, and with it, Microsoft unveiled a new Xbox Live. The service will include more capabilities, such as Skype and a dedicated game DVR for capturing in-game footage.

The company also said that users can install games in segments so they can play without waiting for the whole program to install; the system will download and install updates in the background.

Xbox Live will feature native editing and sharing tools for editing players' game footage, letting them upload footage to the cloud, though the amount of storage space available has yet to be specified.

Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox Live, said achievements will become "dynamic and changing" and show others "how you play, not just what you've done."

Whitten said that the number of Live servers will this year reach more than 300,000, up from the current 15,000. He said the computing power behind Live on the Xbox One will equal the amount of computing power available in the whole world in 1999.

Whitten said that game designers can take advantage of the enhanced power and provide bigger online games with more players.

According to Microsoft, the new features of the upgraded Xbox Live include:

  • Smart Match: A new Smart Match matchmaking system virtually eliminates waiting in lobbies by estimating wait times and finding people you want to play with while you're enjoying other activities -- your reputation matters and helps find best matches.
  • Game DVR: A dedicated Game DVR to captures and access your gaming moments, all saved to the cloud, along with editing and sharing tools.
  • Living games: Dynamic, living worlds evolve and improve the more you play, and advanced artificial intelligence can learn to play like you so friends can play against your shadow.
  • Expanded achievements: A new and expanded achievements system captures video of key moments, continues to grow a game's achievements over time, and rewards you in new ways, and Gamerscores carry over from Xbox 360.
  • Xbox SmartGlass: Xbox SmartGlass is natively part of the Xbox One platform, built in from the beginning with the ability to quickly render content directly onto your device. Now more devices can connect at one time for multiplayer and shared entertainment.

Microsoft has yet to announce updates to existing Xbox Live apps, though it did announce an overhaul of Skype, which includes the Kinect camera and new group chats.

Editors' note: This post was updated at 12:22 p.m. PT with more information.

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About the author

Ty Pendlebury reviews televisions in CNET's New York office. He originally hails from CNET Australia. Ty's interests include gaming, indie music, hi-fi, streaming media, movies, literature, and cycling.

 

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