After months of testing, Microsoft is now making the October 2018 Update for their Xbox One console available to all users.
Although Xbox Insiders have been using some of these enhancements over the last few months, this will now be the first time everyone else will have the chance to try them out on their consoles.
Just like with Windows 10 on other devices, the Xbox October 2018 Update is incremental and not a major overhaul. That means the focus is on two or three key elements in the upgrade but many other smaller things have been tweaked and improved for the overall experience.
Let’s run down the major pieces of this update.
After first showing these off at E3 2017, the new Xbox Avatar Editor is finally available in the Microsoft Store on console and other Windows 10 devices.
These new avatars are highly customizeable and have many free options along with a full Avatar Store so that you can purchase additional cosmetics for your digital character.
If you have been using the pre-release version of the app on console then it will have an update waiting for you after installing the October 2018 Update. If you have not been using the new app as an Xbox Insider, you will get prompted to create a new avatar once the update is installed and you start the app.
You will see your new avatar across the dashboard if you opt to use it plus those of your friends will also appear in these same locations as their digital representation.
Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa
The relationship between these two digital assistants continues to expand in the Windows 10 ecosystem with a new Alexa Xbox Skill for the Xbox One October 2018 Update.
In fact, you can activate an Xbox Skill for Alexa and an Alexa Skill for the Xbox One. This introduces a new way to control your Xbox One console by using an Alexa enabled device such as the popular Amazon Echo. For those of you without the Kinect on your console, this will create that voice connection you have been missing since Kinect productions was halted and they stopped selling the Kinect adapter for Xbox One.
This does introduce a lot of flexibility in being able to control your Xbox One console from a Windows 10 device or your Alexa enabled devices.
You can learn more about this here including instructions on how to get the skills connected.
For those of you with compatible televisions, the October 2018 Update for Xbox One introduces support for Dolby Vision HDR streaming. This is a similar technology to the HDR10 capabilities of 4K UHD TV’s.
You can download a PDF with a list of currently supported TV’s. Right now that is not a long list because this is a new technology that is beginning to become more mainstream.
Accessibility is a significant effort within Windows 10 and now more is being added to the Xbox version of Narrator to widen its base of inclusion.
With the October 2018 Update, five new languages are being added to Narrator. These include Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, and Dutch. In addition, an Australian version of English is being added for user down under will be able to select that as an option for English instead of U.S. or U.K. English.
Of course, Microsoft plans to crank up the Xbox Insider community very soon to start testing the 19H1 release of the Xbox One console. In fact, eligible Insiders can already join the Skip Ahead Ring on their consoles to see an early look at some of those features that should arrive early next year.
For myself, I am taking a break from the early rings on Xbox One because I am focused on the recently released Forza Horizon 4. I love the early access to new versions of the console however, for the foreseeable future I would prefer to not have a random bug or issue interfere with my driving around the U.K.
Below you will find some console screenshots and an intro video from Xbox Live’s Major Nelson.
Xbox One 1810 Update Screenshots Gallery
Xbox One October 2018 Update Intro Video