Microsoft has announced a huge overhaul of their Xbox Avatar content. I will admit that despite being primarily an Xbox gamer I was not actually aware that avatars had carried over to the Xbox One. In fact I don’t think there is a big contingent of hardcore gamers who particular care about avatars these days, even Nintendo has mostly dropped Mii’s from the Switch.
With that said however, I still think this update from Microsoft is quite cool. The avatars will be made using the unity engine which means they should look very good with their specific stylised appearance. It also allows for a lot more customisability.
It’s this new level of customisability that Microsoft is pushing as the main feature of the new update. The addition of options that allow a player’s to avatar to include things such a wheelchair or prosthetics is a great way to increase inclusivity of the platform. The dropping of gendered clothing is likewise a good idea, if for nothing other than business reasons. Why prevent half, or potentially even more, of your audience from being able to purchase something from you?
Alongside the obvious benefits of being able to make your avatar more representative of yourself, the new customisation options will allow for some players to go in complete the opposite direction. Avatar cosplay has been popular for as long as 3D avatars have been a thing. From making a Samuel L Jackson Mii, to being able to buy Mjolnir armour on the Xbox 360 players have delighted in making their avatars dress and look like their favourite characters.
With the new prosthetic options a player could combine a red arm with an eye patch and some camo gear to have an avatar that looks like Snake in Metal Gear Solid V. With no more gendered clothing a male avatar can dress up like Quiet or you could create a female centurion from Ryse. The possibilities are endless.
How do you plan to spruce up your avatar with the new features?
Do you think avatars as a whole are pointless and this update is unnecessary?
Let us know in the comments below.