While the Xbox One is wonderful in so many ways, I doubt that most people are entirely happy with the current operating system. Between the somewhat slow boot time and the inconsistent responsiveness of snap and home, many Xbox fans have been left asking for better in the feature request forums. Thankfully, the Xbox team have been hard at work adding the features that fans want the most, and a new OS is arriving shortly with alterations geared towards our needs.
Early yesterday, Director of Program Management for Xbox, Mike Ybarra released an article on the most significant improvements that owners will be seeing from the November update and how preview members can help further improve it before general release. Here’s a list of the most important changes we’ll be privy to in two months.
By far, the most requested addition for the Xbox One was backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360. Preview members and owners of Rare Replay (see our review here) are currently able to demo the highly anticipated feature, but everyone will be utilizing it come November.
From the sounds of it, this feature is essentially a remix of the Xbox 360’s guide. From the home, users can press left to access essential features like messaging and party. They can also overlay it on the side of the screen without leaving the game by double tapping the Xbox button.
The new home interface is created in such a way that social features and accessing recently played games and apps are top priority. The recently incorporated Game Hubs will also be made much easier to access so that players can get patch notes and announcements for the games they love easily.
A new tab focused on the Xbox Live community allows users to keep up to date with the people and the games they follow. The newly designed Activity Feed and the brand new Trending area will make it easy for people to find new content posted by friends and strangers alike.
The OneGuide has been changed so that TV listings will come up full screen and have a picture-in-picture mode which allows viewers to browse channels without leaving their show. Popular and featured shows and movies will be displayed, including app channels. New deals on video entertainment will also be highlighted for easy browsing.
The store has been reorganized to display more listings at once and provide a quicker browsing experience. Essentially, it’ll be a little bit less cumbersome to buy things digitally (something that all of the console manufacturers need to work on, frankly).
How Preview Members Participate
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, Microsoft will send Preview Program members who have provided the most feedback invitations to join the “New Xbox One Experience.” Invitations will be sent out in a staggered release based on how much feedback each member has given. These invitations will be in the form of Xbox Live messages, which will prompt recipients to visit the Preview Dashboard and choose whether or not they will opt-in to testing the new OS. If they do not opt-in to the new experience, Preview Members will not be removed from the Preview Program; they will, instead, be able to test out updates for the current OS. Those who do want to help make the new OS better before launch will receive regular updates during this period of weeks.
What do you think of the new OS so far? I’m personally most excited for the new guide, but I’m sure many of you are more excited for the performance boost of DX12! We’ll keep you up to date on Xbox news here at TiCGN.