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Xbox One's new party chat system explained

Party chat and snap mode integral to multiplayer, explains program manager Steve Dolan

The new Xbox One party system sits at the heart of the console's multiplayer experience, making connecting with other friends and other players a more seamless ordeal on the new hardware.

Steve Dolan, program manager on the team behind Xbox One's multiplayer and achievements experience, has detailed how it all works in a new blog post.

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"When playing online games on Xbox One you're part of an Xbox Live party. When you go to your friends list you'll see your party right there at the front that shows the game your party is playing," explains Dolan.

"You'll also see all your friends' parties, making it quick and easy to see who is playing online and who to join. Of course, just like Xbox 360, you'll be able to set if your party is joinable or if it's invite only.

"If you see the perfect match and the party is open, you can simply join if there is room for more players in the match, and the game thinks you're a good fit using Smart Match (in terms of skill , playing style, etc.) you'll be offered a slot automatically. If the game is full, you can check out other games, TV and apps while you wait for the game to open up. ... When more players can be added, you'll receive a notification and have a limited amount of time to accept. Just say 'Xbox, join' or use your controller to accept the match."

Snap mode - which pulls up a secondary menu of your choice as a panel on the right side of the screen - is also integral to the party system, with ability to pull up a Snap view of the party app without having to leave gameplay.

In our Xbox One review, we called it "a platform that has laid foundations that it can build on for a whole generation", while calling the new Kinect sensor "the single most impressive element of the Xbox One system at launch".

Xbox One launches in US and Europe on Friday.

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