Microsoft is providing an early look at the company's Xbox One dashboard and friends system today. Just as you'd expect, it provides access to a friends list and the ability to add over 1,000 friends. Xbox 360 friends will be automatically imported, but the Xbox One has a new follow option too to let gamers interact with other Xbox Live users. It's similar to Twitter in the sense that you can simply follow anyone you want. Microsoft is separating out the privacy levels between friends and followers, allowing Xbox One owners to decide what information is shared to followers.
Providing an Xbox Live user has setup sharing, if both players follow each other then they can see things like online status, achievements, and what a player is doing on an Xbox One. In a video demonstration, Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb shows off the recent activity tabs, achievements, uploaded videos, and the ability to follow people without being on a friends list. With followers, Microsoft is creating a live feed activity that can be snapped to the side of the Xbox One user interface. Hryb briefly shows how this can be snapped in place during the video, providing a Twitter-like stream of information from friends and followers on Xbox Live. Hryb also demonstrates the onscreen keyboard of the Xbox One UI, including what appears to be a quick way to scroll through different letters.
Although most of the focus is on social elements, achievements are still a big part of Xbox Live and Microsoft is introducing two types with Xbox One. There are now achievements and time-based challenges. Challenges are only available for a certain amount of time and Microsoft says challenges may require players to work together. "Imagine, for example, a game releases a weekend objective that requires players to cumulatively secure an objective 'X' number of times in a three-day period. And every person who participates and helps build towards the challenge’s goals unlocks that Achievement and earns its reward," explains Hryb.