I think next gen consoles should include a group feature. Users could create groups, whether it be for a common interest, clan, fans of something specific, ideology, religion, etc. Xbox Live, while almost everyone has a mic, is also very quite if you're playing with strangers. At least if the strangers your playing with have a common interest it'll help make you more comfortable talking (and playing) with them.
For this to work best the groups will need to be easily accessible from the console. With good exposure, it would be easy for some of these groups to be rich in active users. Since Xbox Live requires a subscription, it would be best that Microsoft try and make it as easy as possible for users to form new relationships. A user that engages with friends natively and primarily through Xbox Live will be more inclined to stay subscribed. This is why World of Warcraft works so well. After a while it's not about the game anymore. It's about keeping up with your friends. People who play WoW constantly do it because stopping or taking a break feels like letting your friends down.