Granted, for a lot of people out there, the idea of playing multiplayer matches on Xbox Live with anyone short of close friends or family is a disturbing idea indeed. But with the coming of a new console comes a new reason to consider it: much better voice quality.
Making the rounds is a small comparison bar, featuring an audio sample of audio recorded from an Xbox 360 chat session, then the same sample of audio from an Xbox One
. The difference is stark, clear, and absolutely breathtaking. The reports suggest that Xbox One is now using some of the same audio technology that Skype
uses to present clear audio for its users. Additionally, the Xbox One controller also boasts a data port that will pass through data at much higher rates, which will both improve audio capture by 50 percent and the rending of the audio up fully 300 percent.
That's pretty impressive, really, and it may be just enough to sway a gamer or two, especially those who like gaming with a heavy online component. It's interesting that Sony seems to be carrying a lot of MMO but Microsoft wants to make the online experience better.
Of course, this isn't the kind of thing that will sway a lot of gamers. Microsoft's been making a lot of little changes, the kind that by themselves don't mean a whole lot, but in aggregate may go farther than some might think. Microsoft has been seen visibly struggling since a disastrous E3 event to recover its losses, in terms of not only gamers but also in terms of credibility in the gaming industry, and has made quite a few changes, backpedaling on the always-on Kinect
, on used and rented games, on the need for an Internet connection and so on. While the changes haven't always won back lost gamers, some of them have won at least some, and as Microsoft makes improvements, it may well be that further gamers will make the return to Major Nelson's barracks. Microsoft will have quite a bit to take on, too; not only in terms of the differences in the available games, but also in terms of the significantly lower price tag the PlayStation 4 will boast at launch along with the sheer success of Sony's E3 event.
Only time will tell, of course, if the changes Microsoft is making will win back numbers in significant quantities to face down the forces of Sony. But one thing is quite clear: Microsoft isn't taking things lying down, and is clearly engaged in doing what it can to keep goodwill alive, and keep gamers from going over to Sony.