We have all spent some serious time in creating our Xbox Live avatars over the years since their introduction to the Xbox 360 in late 2008. Whether we made them look comparable to how we look in person or end up becoming Master Chief in a tuxedo top, short shorts, and combat boots, we all have come to enjoy the characters that represent us while on Xbox Live. The selection of how we can make our avatars look though hasn’t changed much at all over the 9 years that they have been apart of the Xbox Live experience. There were numerous minor changes, such as the addition of the prop store, but the selection choices kept our characters very limited on how far / how close to ourselves we could push the avatar; that however is about to change!
At the most recent E3 conference, the Vice President of Xbox, Mike Ybarra, revealed the updates to the avatar editor, calling it Avatar 2.0, that was supposed to originally be released Fall 2017. This week, Mike Ybarra tweeted out informing Xbox Users that the upgrade is being pushed back to early 2018 now, however from the teasers and images promoting the upgrade, as Mike says in his tweet, “patience pays off”.
As seen in the article image, the level of customization is mass compared to what it currently allows. The diversity that Xbox is allowing users to consider is extremely mass too as the promotion video (linked at the bottom of the article) shows avatars in wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and even allowing for avatars to wear anything in the store to null out any gender issues. The level of care and consideration for all walks of people is something that was lacking up until now.
The avatars themselves also come to life with the redesigned face, actions, attitudes, and so much more customization options. Bryan Saftler, a Lead Product Manager for Xbox says, “We built these from the ground-up, they’re being built in Unity which is a whole new engine. Avatars are meant for whatever you want your digital self to represent. We don’t want to put you in a box, there are no more checkboxes, no matter what you think you look like or what you want to present online.” An official release date for the update has yet to be announced, however, this is something that will likely be released in early 2018 so keep your eyes out for it!