Even though it doesn’t have a wide release date yet, there’s a good amount of buzz going into the new update for Xbox One, which Xbox Insiders that are taking part in alpha testing will be able to try out starting today.
Microsoft detailed the update in a new blog post, explaining how this update “gives gamers more choice and delivers fun faster. Updates to Home, Guide and Community are available today, with updates to Avatars, Game Hubs, Profiles and more coming this fall.”
So what kind of updates can players expect with this new rollout? We’ve managed to break it down across the next few pages, and there’s quite a bit to get excited over…
Better Customization For Your Home Page
The first change users will notice right off the bat is an upgrade to the home page, which users will now be able to customize however they see fit. “We’re putting the control in your hands, so that you can decice what to see when you turn on your console,” the company explained. The new look and feel is part of a design system called Microsoft Fluent Design; the look, feel, and movement of the dashboard has been updated to focus on speed, customization and expression—for you. Now, customize your Home screen to be uniquely yours, and view all the things you love at-a-glance. Have a favorite game or friend? Add them to Home! Select one, press the Menu button on your controller, and select ‘Add to Home.’ This now creates an entire block of content that can be moved up or down—or removed altogether, should your interests or habits change. These blocks will evolve over time based on the things you like to do. For example, adding a game to your Home screen may pull in an Activity Feed post from the developer, show when your friends are playing that game online, suggest your next Achievement, and provide a quick shortcut to the Game Hub for that title. We’ll be adding additional types of content blocks in the coming months, so stay tuned for more. The team is always pushing to make the Xbox experience faster and faster. In this release, we’ve eliminated the wait between Home, Social, and My Games and Apps by consolidating them into one dashboard experience. No more splash screens means you get to fun even faster.”
Better Guide Navigation
Owners of Xbox One usually see some trouble with guide navigation – it can lag quite a bit. But there’s a fix coming that will make it easier to get around. “With this update, it’s faster than ever to switch between tabs in the guide so you can join friends, broadcast, switch between apps, and get back Home. New tab flyouts make it easier to see more content quickly, too. The new Guide layout quickly gets you to the stuff you care about, so you never miss a moment. It’s now even easier to switch between apps or get back to Home, and the new layout will enable you to quickly jump to different tabs using the left thumbstick, d-pad, or bumpers on your controller. Sign-in, Achievements, multiplayer (including parties, Looking for Group, and tournaments), People, Home and recent, messages, broadcasts and captures, and a new action center (including settings) each have their own tab in the new Guide,” the company explained in its blog post.
Better Community Involvement
Community can be everything to a game – after all, it’s more fun to play along with other people, right? The company noted, “Staying connected with Friends and Clubs is now better than ever. The community section has an entirely new Activity Feed layout, showing more content at-a-glance. When looking at feed items in detail, they are presented in an immersive, full-screen view—sharing the experience just as it was captured. Reading comments is now much easier since the comment window can be expanded to fill the screen. You’ll now be able to skim the feed quickly or lean back on the couch and walk through it in detail – it’s entirely up to you. This makes it easier than ever to stay current with the games and friends you care about. Game Hubs, Profiles, and Clubs are also refreshed to make them more dynamic and engaging than ever before. We’re also making Improvements to Club discovery, to quickly display which Clubs you’re already a part of, and easily discover new Clubs to join. There will also be new titles that will be coming to Arena over the next few months, soon offering even more options for tournaments powered by Xbox Live.”
Raising the Game Bar
“On Windows 10, we’re making it easier than ever to enable or disable Game Mode on a per-game basis by putting a switch directly in the Game bar. Mixer broadcasting with the Game bar will now give you more choices on the audio you broadcast; a new settings option will let you choose to broadcast game-only audio, or system-wide audio. We’ve also added a new Xbox Live Network Troubleshooting option to the Settings menu in Windows 10, which will help you track down connectivity issues and optimize your online multiplayer experience,” the company said in its post.
More updates are likely to come as well, although they too haven’t been given a date just yet. But hopefully we’ll learn more soon enough!