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Xbox becomes first game console to formally support Discord voice chat

Enlarge / Discord and Xbox, seen here getting chummy by way of cute cartoon avatars attached to Discord iconography. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Discord)

After trying, and failing, to acquire the popular chat platform Discord for $10 billion, Microsoft has opted for the next-best thing: directly integrating Discord’s voice-chat capabilities into Xbox consoles.

The news arrived on Wednesday on Xbox Blog, and it clarified that for the time being, Discord access would be exclusive to the optional “Xbox Insider” tier of early, beta, and preview console OS updates. That update is already going live in waves to Xbox Insiders today, and it adds a new tooltip to the system’s “chat” sidebar: “Try Discord Voice on Xbox today!”

Simplifying your Discord life adds a few complications

Since its debut in 2015, Discord has exploded in popularity as a gaming-friendly chat platform on computers and smartphones. One major differentiator over a service like Slack, which looks and operates similarly, is Discord’s clever ties into existing gaming networks. The idea being, wherever you’re playing a game, Discord can broadcast that status to friends via ties to other platforms’ APIs (“playing Stray on PlayStation,” “LFP in World of WarCraft,” “streaming a session of Peggle 2 on Twitch”). Users can switch between direct messages, game-specific text chat rooms, real-time voice channels, and even video-sharing services to coordinate their next online gaming sessions.

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