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For the folks who have an Xbox One, May’s Microsoft update provides long awaited feature requests to the party chats and messages, along with some functions to improve overall stability to party chat servers, and little additions that just, simply, make the player’s life a bit easier.

According to the blog by Major Nelson, “We’re streamlining your gaming experiences even more this time around, whether you’re looking for an easier way to power up the console or connect with distant friends in real time through voice messaging.”

This update includes voice messages, power on/off from Xbox One SmartGlass, user selectable power mode, and dedicated servers for Party Chat.

The voice messaging feature works by “selecting the microphone icon when composing a message.” It should be noted that you can also send voice messages to 360 owners as well as One owners. People can either use a headset or their Kinect to send audio messages.

The SmartGlass app now lets you power your Xbox One on and off when your devices are on the same home network as your console.

While we’re speaking of power, Major Nelson details they are “altering the initial setup experience on Xbox One worldwide to enable you to select your preferred power mode between Instant-on or Energy-saving mode.” It should be noted that this can be changed in the settings as well.

This update also includes a new feature Microsoft is slowly rolling out. Though the pool isn’t large, Microsoft are expanding their Party Chat dedicated servers to the general public, but in little drops here and there. While initially for the testers involved, this feature checks your existing party connection and strength. It checks to see if you have a strict or moderate NAT traversal setting and hosts a dedicated chat server if NAT traversal issues are present, improving overall party performance, not to mention, connectivity.

Back in March, Microsoft began this party chat server. In fact, according to Xbox Wire, they started working on this because many players were having NAT issues. They stated that “Parties where players are unable to form direct peer-to-peer connections for party chat will automatically leverage dedicated server infrastructure to relay traffic.”

Robert Kingett

Robert Kingett is a blind journalist in Chicago who is the author of Off the Grid, living blindly without the Internet. He has been gaming ever since he picked up his first Atari back in 1990. he actively makes a living writing for various blogs and websites with the occasional guest post. He is also an advocate, encouraging education about video game accessibility on mainstream gaming publications