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New features in Xbox One Preview hint at what's to come later

Gamerscore leaderboards, a retooled Avatar shop, and more

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Microsoft today announced a slew of new features coming to the Xbox One for those enrolled in its preview program, foreshadowing things to come for the rest of us sometime later this year.

Many of the features are incremental or cosmetic but they are based on user requests and feedback. For example, games will be removable from the "ready-to-install" display in the apps dashboard. This bit of cleanup had been part of an earlier system, and it will return by popular demand.

Joinable Twitch broadcasts (pictured above) is another feature requested by those who wanted to more easily see their friends' videos. They'll be launchable from the game hubs and game tiles in the Xbox Live main screen.

What appears to be a wholly new feature is a Gamerscore Leaderboard, which tracks a user relative to his or her friends. Total Gamerscore as well as leaders over a rolling 30-day period will be shown.

A remade Avatar Store also is coming to the Preview program, as well as the Xbox Beta app. Users will be able to inspect all the members who are in a party before joining it. For more information on the new features, see this post from Xbox.

The Xbox One's last major system update arrived in November, delivering a new user interface and backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games.

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