The Spring update for the Xbox One is officially here and it has plenty of great changes members of the Xbox Insider Alpha Ring. The focus is clearly on those who stream gameplay from their Xbox, as the first on the list is support for 1440p (2560×1440) video output. This is a resolution smack in the middle of 1080p HD and 4K, for those of us with PC monitors that can take more for 1080p but are not upgraded to 4K yet.
Microsoft has also improved navigation on their Edge browser with the Xbox controller and updated the browser to a more modern look.
Navigation includes tab muting, text-to-speech if you do not feel much like reading and for the visually impaired, and autofill to make signing up for future updates faster and easier. In addition, Xbox users have the ability to download and upload pictures, music, and videos from Edge. You can view these files in the File Explorer app.
Another new feature is called immersive audio. Xbox users can select the balance of game audio and background music outside of the game itself with Guide. So you can either rock out to your favorite tunes while playing, crank up the poorly balanced game audio so can hear characters speak, or turn down the game volume while you stream so your audience can hear you better. Microsoft has added spatial audio as well, so that “audio cues from your surround sound system will match the actions you see on-screen.”
With this Spring update, tournaments are completely open now, you do not have to be a club member to start or join a tournament. You will see tournaments are available in the Game Hubs now.
Last but not least is the most important part of this update: Mixer interactivity. Streamers can now share their entire controller with anyone who is watching the stream on Mixer’s website. This can make for some great co-op experiences or pure chaos. It is up to you and your viewers.
Microsoft shows the example of a viewer playing with Cuphead controls – a game prone to frustration and not a little rage quitting. Adding this Mixer interactivity would only result in chaos. That said, this update seems to be an extension of Microsoft’s control mapping feature, where you can map controls across more than one controller. Microsoft really wants to share games with everyone, no matter what system or game skill level you have.