The long wait for the ability to take screenshots on the Xbox One might be over sooner rather than later.
In a recent update on the Xbox Wire, Xbox division head Phil Spencer says that the long-awaited screenshot function is indeed in the works and should be released “early this year”.
“Screenshots are coming early this year,” Spencer affirmed in the video below. “I know it has been a question for quite a while. We delivered themes, I think that a natural add-on to themes would be screenshots.
Spencer also hinted that gamers will be able to use the screenshots they take as personal backgrounds, much the same way that achievement pictures can set as customizable themes.
“Giving people more ability to share their great gaming moments on the platform, whether it’s just as a screenshot on their background or across many of the different social networks that we allow people to share their content through is a long-term commitment we have.”
Xbox One owners have been waiting quite some time for the ability to take screenshots on the platform, and although it seems like a simple function to add, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has hit some roadblocks along the way.
“It’s a little more technically challenging than I thought,” Phil Spencer told IGN back in October, when the company revealed that screenshots have been delayed.
“Two weeks ago, [Microsoft engineers] think they’ve found a good solution for screenshots. They’re working on it. They know people want it. The team has a path to getting it done, and now it’s just prioritizing.”
In contrast Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation 4 has allowed users to take screenshots and share them across Twitter and Facebook since it launched back in 2013. The PS4’s screenshot interface is streamlined and easy-to-use, and remains one of the console’s strong selling points.
Let’s hope that taking screenshots on the Xbox One is just as easy. Most of the Xbox One’s functions like Snap Mode are bulky, cumbersome and confusing rather than quick and easy.
I personally hope screenshots are handled with more finesse, and that Snap Mode has nothing to do with the new feature (although it probably will).
Interestingly enough there is a way to take “screenshots” with the Xbox One, but it involves essentially uploading your in-game footage with Upload Studio and digitally “lifting” images with computer software. You can also upload your Xbox One game footage to Microsoft’s cloud-based One Drive and retrieve images that way.
I’ve done it myself–the above image of Master Chief was lifted from the Halo: Master Chief Collection with this method–and it’s a pain, but it’s a viable option.
Spencer didn’t give a concrete timeline on when screenshots will hit on Xbox One, but considering the division has been working on it for half a year, we should expect some definitive news in the coming months.