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Xbox One gets new avatars in November, and 12-person party chat now

Avatars once ran wild and free across the Xbox user experience, but much of their habitat was clear cut to make way for Xbox One. You still might catch one out of the corner of your eye here and there - hopefully before it runs out in front of your car - but you'll be seeing a lot more of them soon.

The latest update for members of the New Xbox One Experience Preview program adds "new animated avatars" to the console experience, according to the Major Nelson blog. You'll notice your modernized avatar fidgeting around on your profile, and they'll even propagate across other areas of the menu. A new avatar store, which will likely once again let you spend real money on virtual accessories for your polygonal persona, also seems to be on the way.

These changes will arrive with a bunch of other Xbox One updates in November, including Xbox 360 backwards compatibility and other new features. But another significant update has already gone live for all users: Xbox Live Party Chat now supports up to 12 people.

That's still not quite enough people for a whole Battlefield Conquest team, but it does get you a bit closer than the old eight-person cap. The change was made on the server side, rather than the client side, so you should be able to start chatting with more folks immediately on any supported platform, including the Windows 10 Xbox App.

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Connor has been doing news and feature things for GamesRadar+ since 2012, which is suddenly a long time ago. How on earth did that happen?