Back at E3 last year, Microsoft announced major changes for the Xbox Avatar system to allow for further and more diverse and inclusive customization options. According to The Verge, the new Avatar 2.0 update will launch for everyone in April, though, as usual, Xbox Insider testers will get to try them first. What’s more, Xbox employees are already using the new avatars, according to the report.
As announced previously, the new system won’t restrict players to wearing a particular gender’s clothing. Anything available can be worn by any Avatar. At E3, Microsoft showed an amputee character and another in a wheelchair. Microsoft explained last year that the new Avatars made with “inclusivity absolutely in mind.”
“We want people to feel like we have endless options to really reflect who they are,” designer Kathryn Storm said. Microsoft originally said it would roll out the new Avatar system in 2017 for PC and Xbox One, but it was delayed.
According to The Verge, the new avatars will be integrated to the Xbox One homescreen. Additionally, Microsoft plans to launch a new avatar store in May where you’ll be able to buy things like clothing and props with real money. The site goes on to say that third-party developers will be able to create their own customization options to sell over time.
Also worth noting is that Microsoft rebuilt the entire Avatar creator in the Unity engine. What this means in practice, according to The Verge, is that it should be easier to customise your character. Notably, this is the first major overhaul of Avatars since they were originally launched for the Xbox 360 in 2008. You can see a gallery of some of the changes below.