Finally, some good Xbox One news.
It’s been a rough E3 for Microsoft so far, but today’s news about the Xbox One’s new Achievement system should be met with a positive reaction. Xbox Live’s Achievement Program Manager, Cierra McDonald, discussed the new Achievement system on Major Nelson’s blog and I have to say that I like what I’ve heard so far.
With the new Achievement system, Microsoft are taking things to the next level, by offering more types of Achievements and more rewards to go with them. Achievements are broken down into two types: achievement and challenge. An achievement is just like before where you have a specific goal that you can complete whenever you want. A challenge is an objective that you must complete within a specific time period or you miss out. For example, Capcom could say “Kill 50,000 Zombies Today” in Dead Rising 3 and reward you with an exclusive weapon or something for completing it. Another difference between the two is that only achievements can add points to your Gamerscore, which carries over with your Xbox Live account from the Xbox 360, but both can now reward you with things like digital artwork, new maps, unlockable characters and temporary stat boosts.
Challenges can also span across multiple games and can require more than just you to complete them. Developers can now create community challenges, which will reward everyone who participates with some sort of digital item. For example, 343i could create a challenge for the Halo community to get a certain number of melee kills over a two-day period, and everyone who participates, earns a reward. The possibilities are endless, but it’s too early to tell how creative, and how generous, the development community will get with these. Hopefully we end up seeing lots of cool in-game items as rewards, instead of just gamer pics, artwork and avatar items.
Another nice thing about the new Achievement system is that since it’s powered by the new Cloud service, developers can add new achievements and challenges to their game whenever they want, for free. Before, they had to wait to add new achievements as part of DLC packages. There will also be a new Achievement Feed to track your friends achievements (finally, an easy way to stalk them) and the Xbox One’s new dashboard will show you your progress in achievements that require you to do certain things multiple times, such as “Get 500 Headshots in Multiplayer”
Other Xbox Live Apps, such as video and music apps, can also include Achievements and reward you with sneak peek content, early access, or subscription extensions, but they will not add points to your Gamerscore. Only achievements from games can do that. Again, this could be cool, but who knows what the developers will do with them. It would be cool to earn a free month of NetFlix by watching a movie marathon or an entire season of a TV show in one day.
So far, the new Achievement system sounds great, but it relies heavily on developers providing worthy content as rewards, so it could go either way in the end. I know not everyone cares about achievements, but I’ve always liked them and this new system sounds like a step in the right direction.
You can read the entire post on Major Nelson’s blog here.