Microsoft has been hard at work giving the Xbox Live avatar concept an overhaul, with a planned launch of the reworked avatars scheduled for April. Besides a far more detailed design style, Microsoft has focused on diversity and inclusion this time around, allowing users to create avatars which more closely resemble their physical selves.
This means the addition of things like prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, pregnant avatars, and more – things which would go a long way to help ensure that more people feel represented by the improved system. It’s a commendable idea, to take a wider slice of society into consideration in this way. We can expect a slew of playful additions too, with a wide variety of props and clothing, and Microsoft has said that eventually third-party developers will also be able to create and sell avatar items.
It also seems that your avatar will become more prominent, integrated into the home screen, instead of being relegated to the depths of your gamer profile customisation area like it is at the moment. Xbox Insiders will have early access to this overhauled system, according to The Verge, and the program will open up in full sometime during April.
I used to spend more money than I care to admit on my Xbox Live avatar in the Xbox 360 days, so this whole thing makes me a little anxious, but I’m sure I’ll be able to control myself this time. Maybe just a nice pirate hat. Or another lightsaber. Maybe a pony, or Slayer t-shirt. Oh, this is going to get expensive. Again.