The release of Microsoft’s Xbox One won’t just usher in a new era of cloud-powered gaming for Xbox LIVE users. It’ll also mark the second large-scale revamp for the premier online gaming service’s social networking features.
As detailed by a blog post on Xbox Wire, Microsoft is revamping how friends work on Xbox LIVE from top to bottom. Starting with Xbox One, users can have as many as 1,000 friends, completely outstripping the Xbox 360’s limit of 100 friends.
The company is also layering a new follower system on top of that 1,000 friends. Users can have an unlimited amount of followers and can follow as many users as they want. Just like Twitter, users will have the option to monitor all of their friend’s and follower’s activities with the new Activity Feed. Unlike with friends, becoming someone’s follower isn’t a two-way street. Users can follow Xbox LIVE members without their direct approval, though users will still need to approve friends.
The process seems to mirror the way followers and subscribers work on Facebook.
Starting with the Xbox One, users can also look forward to two different kinds of achievements. The company says that users will be able to earn achievements just like they can on the Xbox 360, however these achievements will be supplemented by challenges. The company compares these challenges to time based objectives. It also says that many of these challenges will require large groups of users to accomplish. When users do work together to unlock challenges, everyone receives an achievement and whatever “reward” is attached to that challenge.
The company also posted a new video showcasing some of the user interface for interacting with followers and friends. Although the short video clip doesn’t reveal anything that hasn’t been detailed already, it does offer the first look at how snapping applications in the new Xbox LIVE Dashboard will work.
The Xbox One is available for pre-order for $499. It launches in the United States on November 22nd.