One of the things that Microsoft got right with their Xbox 360 system is the little popup and sound of getting an Achievement. Love them or hate them, that indicator is a direct ping to the human need for immediate positive feedback. The Xbox One will change the Achievement system a bit. Major Nelson and Cierra McDonald, the Xbox Live Achievement Service Program Director, explained some of the details.
The new system will have Achievements and Challenges. Achievements will work much like they do now. Games will come with a list of goals that you can complete in-game to get the Pavlovian ding and some points added to your Gamerscore. You can attempt to fulfill an Achievement at any time because they don’t officially expire. (Ha! Just try to get those multiplayer Achievements for Perfect Dark Zero now!) The new wrinkle is that Xbox One programs outside of games, like music and video apps, can also have Achievements. App-based Achievements will not have Gamerscore points.
Challenges are new. They are time-limited. Developers and publishers can add or subtract them at will, like a weekend event challenge, or a themed goal based on a hot new internet meme. Challenges can’t have Gamerscore, but they can unlock other rewards.
– Challenges are time based.
– Challenges do not give out Gamerscore.
– Challenges may cross titles, but achievements cannot.
– Challenges can be unlocked by the community.
An Achievement activity feed will also be a part of the Xbox One Dashboard to keep you up to date on what your friends are accomplishing and what new Challenges are being offered.