Xbox Avatars Receive Visual Overhaul And Oft-Requested Wheelchair Option

Gamers were ready to launch a petition for Microsoft to build avatars in wheelchairs for Xbox Live but it turns out they won't need to. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer tweeted out that no petition is needed, that the voices of gamers requesting wheelchair avatars have been heard, adding "this is something that we've already looked at, not far off."

Mike Ybarra, a 15-year Microsoft employee who now serves as the Partner Director of Program Management for the Xbox platform chimed in on the conversation with a sneak peek of two new avatars, a male and female, both in a wheelchair with flag attached sporting the Xbox logo. Here's a look at them both side-by-side.

Xbox Live Wheelchair Avatars

You'll notice that in addition to the wheelchairs, the avatars appear to be more detailed than the ones Microsoft currently uses for Xbox Live. This suggests that Microsoft is revamping its avatars as a whole, though there's no word of when they'll arrive. Whenever the time comes, upgraded avatars will be a welcome treat, considering they've remained largely unchanged since being introduced to the Xbox 360 nearly eight years ago.

As for trying to guess when the new avatars and system update might arrive, probably the most likely scenario is the Anniversary update for Xbox Live, which is scheduled to go out later this summer. Among the new additions coming with the Anniversary update will be a Play Anywhere feature that allows gamers to buy supported titles for either Xbox One or PC and receive a free copy for the other platform.