Xbox players can now directly join Discord voice channels, Xbox homepage revamped, and the latest round up of Xbox news

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has just claimed that the Xbox business would become ‘untenable’ if they continued to be ‘irrelevant’ on the mobile platform.

There’s a new Xbox update out, which improves upon the Discord integration with the console. This November update now lets Xbox players directly join a Discord voice channel from their console. There will also be a new Xbox Home experience awaiting players as Microsoft plans to revamp how the console’s homepage UI looks and works. 

How to join Discord voice channel on Xbox

Xbox players can join a Discord voice channel by opening the guide, heading to the Parties & chats section and then selecting Discord. Scroll through the Discord servers you’re part of and pick the voice channel you wish to join. Players will also get to see a preview of friends who are part of the Discord server and voice channel. 

Xbox Home gets a revamp with new update

Xbox Home will have a new layout as well as new customization capabilities. The company is yet to make changes to the Xbox background features but noted in their latest blog that more details about it will be shared soon. 

The new Xbox layout system has been designed to make it easier for players to access their favourite games and apps. Players will be able to add up to ten games on the Xbox Home with this new update. They’ll also be able to add top groups to Home and find them on the homepage after scrolling down. 

Xbox business would become ‘untenable’ without mobile games

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has just claimed that the Xbox business would become ‘untenable’ if they continued to be ‘irrelevant’ on the mobile platform. His comments come on the back of a constant narrative that Microsoft is pursuing a deal with Activision Blizzard for Call of Duty. 

In fact, when Phil was asked if Xbox is looking to complete this deal for Candy Crush instead of Call of Duty, he agreed. He said, “Absolutely”, and added, “And in addition, the number that’s not in the Candy Crush King number is Call of Duty Mobile, and Diablo mobile, which are big franchises that exist in the Activision bucket and in the Blizzard bucket, that are also major players on phones.”

Spencer also took an indirect dig at PlayStation when he said to The Verge’s Decoder podcast, “The idea that Activision is all about Call of Duty on console is a construct that might get created by our console competitor.”
“I haven’t heard [that] Nintendo has been sending in any complaints about the deal,” Spencer added. 

Spencer also touched upon the potential of mobile games when he said, “In terms of the Activision opportunity, and I keep saying this over and over, and it is true, it definitely starts with a view that people want to play games on every device that they have, and in a funny way, the smallest screen that we play on is actually the biggest screen when you think about the installed base in phone.”

“That’s just a place where if we don’t gain relevancy as a gaming brand—we’re not alone in seeing this—over time, the business will become kind of untenable, for any of us. If we’re not able to find customers on phones, on any screen that someone wants to play on, you really are going to get segmented to a niche part of gaming that running a global business will become very challenging.”

Xbox boss wants their game streaming device to cost $99-$129

Xbox boss also addressed their game streaming device, codenamed Keystone. It will allow users to stream Xbox games on their TVs or monitors without a console. Spencer revealed how Keystone turned out to be more expensive than intended and why the team then focused on releasing the TV streaming app in collaboration with Samsung. 

Spencer said that the team at Xbox is still focused on Keystone. When quizzed about the price, Spencer said, “I don’t want to announce pricing specifically, but I think you’ve got to be $129, $99, like somewhere in there for that to make sense in my view, that we just weren’t there. We weren’t there with the controller. And I love the effort. The reason it’s on my shelf is the team rolled up their sleeves and in nine months they built that thing. And a bunch of us took it home and it worked. It worked really, really well."