Microsoft is rolling out an Xbox update that includes handy consoles and cloud gaming features. There's a new way to hop into a game. When a friend shares a screenshot or game clip that catches your eye, you'll be able to tap the play button on a computer or mobile device and fire up the game in a browser. For instance, if you're on your phone and see a cool Forza Horizon 5 clip that your friend posted, you can start playing the game just by clicking the button. Given that this is a cloud gaming function, you'll need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership to use it.Xbox's take on the feature doesn't seem quite as advanced as Stadia's State Share , however. The latter allows you to join a game at the same point as someone else and experience a world exactly as they left it just by clicking a link. Microsoft There's another welcome feature that's available on Xbox Series X/S starting today: noise suppression for party chats. Microsoft says it can keep sounds like controller clicks, your breathing and background noise out of your friends' ears.Noise suppression, which Xbox started publicly testing back in May , will be enabled by default. If you want your pals to hear music you're playing in the background, you can switch it off from the Parties and Chats options in the guide. Microsoft plans to bring the feature to more devices in the near future. Microsoft
Xbox's online DRM has been one of the biggest issues with Xbox Series X consoles, as outages and other issues have left players with no access to purchased games. Another big complaint is that cross-platform Xbox One disc games have been inaccessible offline, even with games that don't require a connection. Now, a new update means you won't be forced to do an internet check or download from an Xbox One disc anymore, engineering lead Eden Marie confirmed in a tweet.Users started noticing the change recently, but it has been in place since the 2206 update earlier this summer, Marie said. "We examined data since Series X|S launch & determined the online compatibility check isn't needed in the vast majority of cases for Xbox One discs. Some games may still need to be updated online after install to ensure the best experience," she added.Yes, this is true since the 2206 update. We examined data since Series X|S launch & determined the online compatibility check isn't needed in the vast majority of cases for Xbox One discs. Some games may still need to be updated online after install to ensure the best experience. — Eden Marie (@neonepiphany) September 19, 2022 What was the problem before? The issue essentially revolved around Microsoft's Smart Delivery system. Previously, when you inserted various types of Xbox One/Xbox Series X game discs on a new-gen console, it wouldn't install the game straight from the disc — rather, it would install an updated version via the internet. This, despite the fact that Series X consoles are perfectly capable of playing most Xbox One games directly (the main exception being Kinect games).What this means it that you can now play many games offline that are branded "Xbox One," "Xbox One/Xbox Series X," "Xbox Series X/Xbox One" and "Xbox Series X." However, you can't play original Xbox or Xbox 360 games without updates, as the data "can't be used directly," according to Eden. (Most of this doesn't apply to the Xbox Series S, of course, because it doesn't have a disc drive.)There are a few other exceptions as well. For instance, some disc games known as "stubs," like Forza Horizon 5 or Halo Infinite, don't contain the full version of the game — so you'll need a connection for those. You'll also need the internet to download the latest versions of games, along with expansion packs, etc. And Series X consoles require an account, so you'll need to be online at least once to set that up. Still, the update is a good step and means you'll be able to play a lot more games in the not-so-rare event that Microsoft's servers go down.
Bonnie Ross, who headed up Halo developer 343 Industries, will be leaving the studio. Head of production Pierre Hintze is now leading the studio.