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New Xbox Live Features, Including Custom Gamerpics, Games Filtering, And More, Coming To Insiders

21 March 2017, 12:43 am EDT By Carl Velasco Tech Times
Microsoft is bringing a laundry list of feature updates to Xbox Live, including custom gamerpics, improvements to Looking For Group posts, captive portal support, and more. The updates will roll out over the coming weeks to Xbox Insiders.  ( Microsoft )

Microsoft will soon let participants in the Xbox Insider program choose their own custom gamerpics on Xbox Live. Gamers will no longer be locked and relegated to choosing from a limited roster of avatars and game-related screenshots.

Custom Gamerpics On Xbox Live

Custom gamerpics is among the many features and improvements included in a series of feature updates rolling out this month, as detailed in a hefty blog post by Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, Xbox Live's director of programming. Gamers, or at least Insiders, may choose a custom gamerpic directly via the console, a Windows 10 PC, or even a smartphone, so there'll be plenty of platforms they may use to pick gamerpics with.

Microsoft, however, is already indicating that it could take a long time before custom gamerpics rolls out to all Xbox Live users, because according to the company, it's making sure the feature is "great for everyone" upon release. Microsoft is probably ironing out some kinks so as to set in place preventive measures in case anyone picks a gamerpic that is lewd or inappropriate.

App Sorting By Platform

Also included in the update is the ability to filter games by platform on the My Apps and Games screen, which is handy for sorting out more recent titles from games of yesteryear. Users can separate their Xbox 360 titles from their Xbox One titles, which is a handy and necessary feature for the clutter-frightened.

Captive Portal Support

The company is also proving that it's listening to its users by not passing up on a common player request: captive portal support. Users will soon be able to connect their Xbox One devices to public Wi-Fi networks such as in hotels, universities, and more, thanks to Wi-Fi authentication through the system's browser.

Clubs And Looking For Group Improvements

There will also be improvements arriving in areas such as clubs and Looking for Group, or LFG. With the update, users will be able to see new vetting cards by gamers interested in joining a party, when users create an LFG post. These vetting cards will include hero stats, and that information will adapt contextually for different titles.

The much-anticipated Arena tournament system will also be part of the update to Xbox Live. Users will also soon discover tournaments from the Xbox One or the Xbox app for Windows 10.

The feature updates will be rolled out over the next few weeks, according to Major Nelson. The company will glean on the usage and feedback it'll receive concerning the features in order to make adjustments accordingly.

"Gamers are at the center of everything we do at Xbox — we value your opinions and want you to help evolve the Xbox experience," wrote Major Nelson.

The features outlined above, however, are just part of the whole Xbox Live update parcel; there are a handful more changes and improvements detailed by Major Nelson in his blog post, so give it a read if you want.

"We look forward to hearing more from you, and are excited to update our features based on your feedback. Thank you!" 

Are you part of Microsoft's Insider program for Xbox? What are your thoughts about the roster of updates set to arrive in the coming weeks? Feel free to sound off in the comment section below!

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