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New features coming to Xbox Live include Clubs and an Arena

Background music playlists, too

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

Updates coming to Xbox Live this year will add a slew of new features and functionalities to the console, including a new competition platform called Arena on Xbox Live.

Arena on Xbox Live will be a new tournament platform offering all-in-one tournament from registration to spectating and competition.

Support for Smite and World of Tanks was mentioned by name, with many other games supported. EA Sports has signed on to bring some of its portfolio to Xbox Arena in the coming years, including the FIFA series.

Clubs on Xbox Live will connect users through their favorite games and group friends of common interests. There will also be a Looking For Group feature that allows users to seek out new companions.

Other features include language region independence, which allows users to select a native language irrespective of where they live, and background music, where users may create playlists that they can listen to as they game.