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The new Xbox June update adds stories and text-to-speech in party chat

Because apparently everything needs stories now.

xbox series x controller
Image: Microsoft

Xbox is constantly updating its platform and user interface, and each update tends to add some pretty significant features on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. This month’s update focuses on accessibility, with a few extra touches, like stories and upgraded family settings.

First off, this month’s update tackled a significant accessibility issue. The company has implemented its text-to-speech and speech transcription functionality into Xbox Party Chat.

Now, you can have the console write out everything that people say in party chat to an adjustable overlay that displays on-screen.

xbox speech to text feature
Image: Xbox

Conversely, this feature also adds the ability to read out anything that is typed into party chat. Both of these new settings can be found in the “ease of access” section of the Xbox settings menu. This is a feature that Microsoft has been working on for a while, and it is a great way to make gaming more accessible for everyone.

“At Team Xbox, we believe gaming should be inclusive, approachable, and accessible to everyone. That includes making it easy for gamers to play and communicate together.”

This month’s update also includes a couple of extra features. First, Xbox has joined the various social media outlets in adding stories to its mobile app on iOS and Android.

These posts will be similar to what you find on Facebook or Instagram, but they will all be from official game studios. You can like and even comment on the official posts right from the Xbox app.

xbox stories
Image: Xbox

The company also added a new parental guidance feature. Kids who use child accounts can now request to play multiplayer games with others, and parents can allow or deny those requests straight from a console or the Xbox mobile app.

That caps off a pretty significant update to both the app and console interface. The new ease-of-access feature is going to be a great way to open up parts of gaming that some people haven’t been able to enjoy yet. I’m all about enhancing the gaming experience for everyone.

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