How Skype could help Xbox One edge the PS4 out of the living room

And if you're in in-game chat you'll be notified of an incoming Skype call and be able to jump into that and return to the game chat when you're done. Skype has also been built so it won't affect framerates when you're moving between Skype and the game - or running both together.

"I think that there's something about Skype that is very different than just game chat," says Roshak. "It's that thing that you use to keep in touch with people you care about and people you know. And they don't have to be on an Xbox - they can be on a PC, they can be on a phone."

Group chat is available on Xbox One with a maximum of four participants, although frustratingly you can't favorite groups which means you won't be able to command the Xbox One to call a specific group by voice. But this is something else that Roshak says is on its way.

Preparing for the future

It feels like TV and Skype are truly helping Xbox One prepare for the future. Gamers will be squabbling over resolutions and framerates for a while longer, but Microsoft believes that it's the software, not the hardware, that will satisfy users in the long term. Skype is a big part of that picture.


Annoyingly, you won't be able to snap Skype video calls with your games right away

"I think that when Microsoft started on Xbox, we got into this whole business because we believe that hardware is an enabling technology, but it's not what people really interact with," says Roshak.

"It was all about software and services and we delivered that as quickly as we could with Xbox Live and we've continued to deliver that with things like message integration originally and now Skype.

That's our wheelhouse as Microsoft. Our wheelhouse is that we can continue to innovate and iterate on these software and services."

This is just the beginning for Skype, then. "Xbox One, it's a 10-year thing," says Roshack. "We built it knowing that its going to evolve over 10 years. The hardware can't just magically change so its really super important to get the hardware right"

There are a few niggling omissions right now - most noticeably the option to have a Skype video call in snap mode when you're playing a game - but can Skype persuade gamers to choose the Xbox One over the PS4? "I think it's a key differentiator, absolutely," says Roshak.

"I do think that no matter what, we can do the best job on Xbox because we have the ability to integrate with pieces across the whole chain, we have the ability to tie [together] all the Microsoft services, whether it's Skydrive or a Microsoft account or Xbox Live. There's something beautiful we can build by owning the end-to-end experience".

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.