Microsoft is getting ready to launch a major update of its Xbox Live Avatars framework. Initially starting as an Xbox 360 component in 2008, Xbox Live Avatars have been gradually changing to incorporate more designs and adaptability. As a result, Microsoft is adding wheelchair options for its Xbox avatars, as well as what looks like some visual tweaks. Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, confirmed that the wheelchair additions were not "far off," after responding to a question about the subject on Twitter. The company's Mike Ybarra then tweeted a "sneak peek" of the update showing two avatars using distinctly Xbox-themed wheelchairs.
Microsoft is currently presenting another Xbox Avatars framework that is intended to make these Avatars significantly more adaptable. The new Avatars will let you completely modify your online character with new body types, wheelchairs, and apparel. "If you can see it in the store, you can wear it on your Avatar," says Kathryn Storm, communication planner at Xbox.
Supported by gamers with disabilities, Xbox has been praised for introducing the Xbox-themed wheelchairs as soon as its images were released. Everyone is thanking the company for its responsiveness to its gamers. This is part of a major upgrade after Xbox allowed its gamers to have customizable avatars that are seen by others in its gaming community, and even playable in some games. This change was very popular – gamers could create avatars that looked as much or as little like them as possible, but it left out gamers in wheelchairs until now.
Microsoft has already completed a beta testing of the Xbox Avatars. The Avatar software designers are already planning to upgrade to "Avatar 2.0" framework in the next few months.