After showing off their new modern and inclusive avatars at E3 2017, the first publicly accessible test of the updated avatars is finally available.
The Xbox Insider team at Microsoft announced today’s availability last night in a blog post on the Xbox Insider site and indicated the new avatar app would be available today for members of the Alpha Preview and Alpha-Skip Ahead Preview rings.
Although the new app was supposed to become available around 3 PM Eastern time, it actually showed up a couple hours early. After waiting over a year for the new avatar system, the early delivery was a bonus at this point.
I initially tried to stream the app and the setup of my new avatar over my Mixer streaming channel however, apparently apps can not be streamed from the console. That is a bummer but I imagine it is related to not streaming TV, movies, and videos to violate copyrights.
Note to Microsoft – we should be able to stream apps like this to viewers so we can share the experience. It is just fine to block the apps that cause copyright concerns – just give us the ability to share our other on console experiences. Thanks!
So once I was stymied from streaming the new app to everyone, I went ahead and just streamed my Xbox to my Surface Laptop to go through the app and take screenshots. I have about two dozen images in the gallery below that will give you an idea of what the possibilities are in the new Xbox Avatar Editor.
After installing the app, this is the first page you see once you get inside the app. I think the avatar they showed me was an attempt to closely approximate my original Xbox Avatar. Since there are currently limited options within the new avatar customization app, I suspect they could not get as close as necessary.
As you can see they could be related but certainly not any match.
However, once I had gone through the app and customized the starting avatar they provided me I was able to make them look a lot more similar. The new app still lacks a lot of options in areas such as long hair or a pony tail for men, so I went with the shorter hair that I used to wear. Same thing for the beard – I went with the goatee because the full beards are really full and not adjustable.
Once you are all done there is a photo booth so you can take a unique picture of your new avatar and use it as your Xbox profiles gamerpic.
The real strength and beauty of the new avatar platform is that it will eventually be infinitely customize-able, full of color and other options, and include items like prosthetic arms/legs plus wheelchairs. This will allow gamers who use such devices to create their own unique avatar that reflects who they are from head to toe.
Microsoft has said this is just the beginning of the public testing of the new avatars and to expect more options moving forward.
If you are in the Xbox Insider program and in either the Alpha or Alpha Skip-Ahead preview rings, just open the Xbox Insider app on your console and go to Insider Content to find the option to join this app testing program.