Microsoft will launch its redesigned Xbox avatars in April, according to sources familiar with the matter. Announced at E3 2017, the avatars were first slated for release last year but saw a significant delay.
The most noticeable change is completely updated visuals. Xbox avatars will no longer use the same model as Xbox 360 did back in the day. The footage Microsoft has shown so far is very impressive, but there will also be more customization options.
The avatars will have a bigger accessibility focus, with the option for prosthetic arms, wheelchairs, pregnancies, and more. They’ll also have new hairstyles, greatly improved animations, and more accessory options.
However, the update could spur changes outside of the avatar experience. Currently, avatars don’t focus prominently in the interface of Xbox One, which is a change from the 360. With slicker looks, it’s likely Microsoft will want to show them off much more.
They may also feature in VR and some regular gaming titles. The simple yet customizable models act as a good, low-performance base for in-game characters. Eventually, developers will also be able to create their own items in Unity to sell on the store.
As such, it’s important that Microsoft gets it right, and we would prefer a delay to a poorly implemented system. That said, there are ways to get access earlier if you cant wait a month. Though the avatars will launch for all next month, The Verge says alpha testers will be able to test them in March.