The only way to earn Gamerscore on Xbox One is via games, Cierra McDonald, program manager for Xbox Live Achievements has confirmed.

This is despite major changes to the way Achievements can be earned on the upcoming console.

"For Xbox One, my team and I have rebuilt the Achievements system to be more powerful and more flexible so that developers and publishers can deliver more interesting, complex, and fulfilling goals and rewards to you," explains McDonald.

"In addition to Gamerscore, which will remain as a critical part of the Xbox gaming experience (and yes, your Gamerscore from Xbox 360 will carry forward to Xbox One - there's only ONE Gamerscore), consumers can now unlock digital artwork, new maps, unlockable characters, and temporary stat boosts via achievements. And this is not limited to games!" writes McDonald. "Other Xbox One applications such as video and music apps can now use Achievements to bring you awesome sneak peek content, early access, or subscription extensions."

Importantly, McDonald says that "only games will give you Gamerscore".

There are going to be two types of Achievements: achievements and challenges.

"An achievement is probably already familiar," says McDonald. "There's a goal or activity you must accomplish and a reward that you receive upon completion. You can unlock an achievement at any time, be it on a game's launch day or 3 years later. I guess you can say an achievement is like a promise in that sense.

"A challenge, on the other hand, is more like an opportunity - better grab it while you can! It is also comprised of a goal and a reward; however, challenges are time-bound (as in, real life time). That means you can only unlock during its eligible time window, and if you get close but don't complete the goal when it ends... *Kanye shrug*"

Achievements and challenges share many of the same attributes:

  • You can unlock them and win their rewards;
  • Once unlocked, they are saved to your achievement history;
  • They each have an icon to visualize the cool thing you did;
  • They often are associated with a Game DVR capture to show your friends that you are better than they are
  • Developers can release more of them after the game's initial release (more on that in a bit).

Likewise, the two have notable differences:

Challenges are time based: Challenges are only available for a certain period of time. Only your activity during that timeframe will count toward unlocking the challenge. Achievements do not expire, so you can unlock them at your leisure.

Challenges do not give out Gamerscore: We want everyone to have the same shot at increasing their Gamerscore to its highest potential. Since challenges are intentionally temporary (an opportunity) and achievements never expire (a promise), only achievements may offer Gamerscore as a reward.

Challenges may cross titles, but achievements cannot: Achievements cannot be shared across titles whereas challenges are allowed to span multiple titles.

Challenges can be unlocked by the community: Community challenges are typically goals that exceed what a lone player can accomplish in the given period of time. Imagine, for example, a game releases a headshot weekend challenge that requires players to cumulatively headshot 1 million baddies in a 3 day period. And every person who participates and meets the challenge's goals gets the unlock on his or her achievement history and reaps its reward.

And here's a run-down on how the new Achievements system will be presented to Xbox One users:

  • The Xbox One dashboard experience greatly improves how you discover and view Xbox Live Achievements.
  • Ever wondered how far along you were toward completing an achievement, particularly those that involve a lot of collection or linear progress? With Xbox One, games may now expose your latest progression toward unlocking an achievement right on the dashboard, even before you launch the game.
  • Quickly catch up on what your friends have been up with the achievement activity feed that keeps you informed about your friends' latest unlocked achievements.
  • Check out video clips of that magical moment when an achievement was unlocked.
  • Easily discover upcoming challenges for a game at any time.
  • Your achievement history has been transformed into a more beautiful gallery of achievement icons that properly show off your hard-earned victories.

The new Achievement system is also cloud-powered, making it possible for developers to add new achievements and challenges after their game is initially released.

Xbox One will launch in November priced £429.

Source: MajorNelson