Microsoft is revitalising Avatars for Xbox One, but should they really return?
According to a job ad posted on Microsoft’s company careers page, the company is finally getting around to updating Avatars for the Xbox One platform. But should they bother?
Since being introduced with the Xbox 360’s NXE dashboard in 2008, users have been able to create and customise virtual representations of themselves – though they were never much more than a visual distraction while looking through your friends list. In fact, the Xbox 360 games that used Avatars were almost universally mediocre, which left many gamers wondering why RARE spent so much time developing the initial concept in the first place.
The Avatars had seemingly been all but abandoned for the Xbox One, relegated to a menu in the Profile and without the ability to use your hard earned cash to purchase new cosmetic items, it looked like they were being quietly phased out. Though it now looks like they will be making a return at some point in the near future.
Spotted by Dualshockers, the career listing states that Microsoft is looking for a graphics engineer “that will work with us to grow the avatar platform across all of our platforms, leveraging the power of Xbox One, the far reach of Windows, and the intimacy of touch on mobile devices.”
The employee will also need to be prepared to send “Xbox avatars on their biggest adventure yet with higher fidelity and a bigger stage in new Xbox experiences.”
It isn’t clear how Microsoft will look to implement Avatars on Xbox One, though with the mention of “new features” and “gorgeous” visuals hinted in the listing, it’s easy to assume they will play a bigger role than ever before. Still, has anyone really missed them?
There was a time where we imagined Avatars taking centre stage in a Sony Home type environment, but that doesn’t feel like something that would work in the Xbox One’s clinical dashboard style and space. For better or worse, Avatars are making a comeback, but we can only hope this doesn’t lead to another deluge of disappointing arcade/indie titles.