Xbox One voice chat quality will be much improved compared to Microsoft's current-generation console thanks to the One's Skype integration, a Microsoft representative confirmed to Polygon.
"In-Game Chat, Party Chat and Skype are all available on Xbox One," the representative wrote. "Skype technologies are used in Xbox One which improves voice quality during multiplayer game sessions. Skype can also be used to call any of your Skype contacts for voice or video chat exclusively or while playing a game. Additionally, we have improved the Kinect hardware, from microphone configuration to dedicated audio processing, which contributes to providing a high-quality voice experience whether you are chatting in a game or through Skype."
Xbox One will use Skype to improve voice chat in multiplayer games
We reached out to Microsoft to confirm Skype's integration into other aspects of Xbox One chat after speaking to Ben Kilgore, corporate vice president of interactive entertainment business, at the console's reveal event. Speaking to Polygon about the changes coming to the Xbox One's parental control settings, Kilgore mentioned that voice chat on the console would be much clearer, "because we're leveraging Skype." Microsoft confirmed Skype calls and group video chats would be available on the Xbox One during its reveal presentation, but didn't show how — if at all — it would affect traditional voice chat over the platform.
Chat quality on Xbox 360 has struggled behind other VoIP services offered on PCs, but has improved slightly over the years as Microsoft gradually upgraded its bit rate codec, and as player connection speeds grew faster. In January of this year, CVG reported Skype — which Microsoft purchased in 2011 for $8.5 billion — would power chat on the Xbox One as Microsoft began "consolidating all their communications technology."