After failing to acquire the popular chat site Discord for $10 billion, Microsoft has resorted for the next best thing: incorporating Discord's voice-chat capabilities straight into Xbox devices.
The announcement was made on the Xbox Blog on Wednesday, and it was stressed that, for the time being, Discord access will be limited to the optional "Xbox Insider" tier of early, beta.
That update is already rolling out to Xbox Insiders in waves today, and it adds a new tooltip to the system's "conversation" sidebar that says, "Try Discord Voice on Xbox today!"
Discord has grown in popularity as a gaming-friendly chat network for desktops and smartphones since its introduction in 2015.
Discord's ingenious links into current gaming networks are a big differentiation over a service like Slack, which looks and acts similarly.
The concept is that wherever you are playing a game, Discord may broadcast your status to your pals via API connections to other platforms playing Stray on PlayStation.
Their next online gaming session, users may move between direct messaging, game-specific text chat rooms, real-time audio channels, and even video-sharing services.
But what if you want to talk to your Discord voice chat friends while also using your Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch's dedicated headphones? You couldn't do it directly on any console until this week.
Finding a headset that supports simultaneous Bluetooth inputs and connecting it to both your console and your Discord-enabled smartphone was your best bet.
(Alternatively, you can do what I do and insert an earbud from a smartphone into one ear for Discord, then drape a console's headphones over that.)