Let’s start with the most important thing here. Achievements will reward you with something more than just a piece of avatar clothing this time around. Unfortunately, it’s not cold-hard cash, but it will be “digital artwork, new maps, unlockable characters, and temporary stat boosts”.
It’s something. OK?!
In an extensive blog post on Major Nelson, Cierra McDonald (Program Manager for Xbox Live Achievements) explained the changes to the already established Achievements system, and the addition of ‘Challenges’.
Firstly, if you hadn’t heard already, your current Gamerscore from Xbox 360 will carry over to Xbox One. So now you can feel L337 when you see someone on zero.
As mentioned you can now get something for your Achievements, but – and we’re pretty sure the following should be said in an excited manner – Achievements are not only limited to games. Video and music apps are just some of the other Xbox One applications which will use Achievements to bring you “awesome sneak peek content, early access, or subscription extensions.” However, “only games will give you Gamerscore.” Yeah, no numerical reward for watching Desperate Housewives.
To go along with the Achievements (which are conceptually unchanged), there are now Challenges. These are time based and do not give you Gamerscore. They are also able to cross titles and be community based. An example of a community based Challenge would be to “cumulatively headshot 1 million baddies in a 3 day period”. Participating and meeting the Challenge’s goals will unlock this in his or her achievement history and you will reap its reward. Apparently.
Achievements will be cloud-powered now. Exciting stuff we suppose, but there is an apparent use for developers. New Achievements can be added on the fly and without you “being required to buy new content (read: free!) or download title updates.” If the developer spots the community enjoying a pastime (such as “kicking chickens”) a new Achievement or Challenge can be added for your wicked amusement.
There’s more on the Achievements and Challenges here – if you need to know more that is.
Major Nelson also covered the new ‘Smart Match‘ feature of Xbox LIVE which features a new and improved Social Reputation system.
If you’re keen to see the three main accessories for the Xbox One (controller, headset and plug ‘n play) Xbox Wire has you covered.