Polygon has the latest grist for the Xbox rumor mill today, but along with the normal (and tired) hullabaloo of whether or not the console requires an always-online connection, or allows used games at all, the story pops up a little information that we haven’t seen before. Up until now, no one has talked about the social infrastructure of the next-gen Xbox and what kinds of upgrades or changes we might see.
Video capture of gameplay with sharing and uploading to Youtube, similar to the Playstation 4 feature, is mentioned as well as an unlimited Friends list that functions more like Twitter with users following one another instead of needing two-way approval. The rumored upgrades to Achievements may have Gamerscore addicts going crazy.
With the next Xbox, developers and publishers will be able to add more achievements to a game after launch, without the need to add DLC. This is designed specifically to allow developers to tweak player behavior, perhaps urging players to check out specific areas of a game or get past a difficult spot. Next-gen achievements can also be tied to broader events, like a weekend challenge or a communal goal, like contributing a set number of kills to the bigger goal of 10,000 kills over one weekend. Companies can also create cross-title achievements, like awarding points for finishing the first chapter in two different and unrelated games published by the same company. Some of these bigger, cross-title, communal achievements will be a requirement for all titles.
Microsoft is playing around with cross-platform achievements as well. Ideally, these achievements could be earned by playing a game on the next-gen system and then using a companion app, a website or maybe even by playing a specific game, like a prequel to a next-gen title, on the Xbox 360.
Imagine the possibilities! “Used the Pizza Hut app to order a pizza while playing Halo 5 – 100G” or “Attained Prestige level in 3 consecutive Call of Duty games – 200G.”
It remains to be seen which, if any, of these rumors will prove true on May 21st during the Xbox press event.