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Xbox bosses drop hints that wheelchairs are coming to Xbox Live avatar update

Avatar models appear to be getting a makeover, too

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

An avatar item for those who use wheelchairs is coming to Xbox Live, according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, and a teaser image suggests everything in the avatar program will be getting a new look, too.

Mike Ybarra, the director of program management for Xbox, posted the image of the wheelchair avatar option (above) very early this morning. Seamus Blackley, the co-creator of the Xbox, had suggested on Twitter on Sunday that Xbox Live should support the item.

Spencer then weighed in, also on Sunday, when someone suggested that users sign a petition requesting the option.

The image is noteworthy not only for the wheelchair's inclusion but also for the polish that seems to have been applied to avatar models and their outfits. Xbox Live avatar models and clothing textures have appeared largely the same since their introduction in 2008.

No word on when, exactly, the Xbox Live avatar overhaul will be implemented. The next Xbox Live update, titled Anniversary, will be coming later this summer. It introduces the new Play Anywhere feature, through which games are playable on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.