As much as I love my Xbox Series X, there's one thing that drives me absolutely daft in multiplayer gaming: noise. As someone who's been gaming since Pong was considered pretty hot I've grown immune to inane in-game chat and the usual online idiocies, but there's something about ambient noise that really grinds my gears: the clack of a gaming keyboard, other people's taste in music and worst of all, people munching during multiplayer. So I'm very pleased to see that Microsoft has a solution, and it's coming to the Xbox Series S too.
As the Xbox Blog reports, the new feature is coming to the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring first before being rolled out to the rest of us, and it's enabled by default.
Here's how Microsoft describes the new feature, called Party Chat Noise Suppression. "We’ve enabled a new feature which will process your microphone input through a noise suppression step to help produce cleaner audio in your Party Chat session," Microsoft says. "The setting is enabled by default but can be toggled from the dropdown options menu."
Microsoft isn't the first firm to do this – Discord's Krisp filters are great at removing background audio too, and Microsoft's solution will presumably work in the same way. The downside is that you might lose a little audio clarity in the name of noise suppression; I don't know about you but that's a price I'm perfectly happy to pay if it means not hearing someone eating a pack of Monster Munch too close to their gaming headset while I'm trying to set up a sniper shot.
The Xbox Update Preview also comes with the usual collection of bug fixes, hardware support improvements, networking niggles and other minor issues. If you want to become an Xbox Insider so you can get updates like this before everyone else – with the usual caveats that pre-release software may have bugs, kill your pets or do odd things in your favourite game – it's just a matter of installing the Xbox Insider Hub app. You can't become an Insider if you're under 18.