Even though they still have a long way to go in addressing the console’s lack of exclusive, must-have software, Microsoft has done a commendable job in turning the Xbox One around in the four years since it first launched. Thanks to a number of quality of life improvements, such as backwards compatibility, Xbox to PC streaming, and some key hardware revisions, the Xbox One is now an easy console to recommend, which is a far cry from just a few years ago when you would have been insane to buy one over a PlayStation 4.
One of the areas where Microsoft has refused to be stagnant is the Xbox One’s user interface, which has received multiple updates since 2013 (a good thing too, since the original Xbox One dashboard was legitimately awful). Just in time for the launch of the Xbox One X on November 7th, Microsoft has again made some changes to the dashboard and while your initial reaction may be to grumble about having to learn to navigate the system yet again, there’s actually good reason to celebrate.
The dashboard has received a noticeable speed improvement, which fixes one of the Xbox One’s most annoying problems. No more slow loading times for routine tasks like shifting pages or bringing up your friends list. It may not sound like a big deal, but it’s frankly a blessing for anyone who has spent time with the slow Xbox One dashboards of the past.
Speed improvements aren’t the only change, however. Here are all the other features you’ll find in the update, which are available on all Xbox One consoles, not just the Xbox One X, via Major Nelson:
- It’s not faster and easier to move left and right through horizontal tabs with the left thumb stick or bumpers.
- Bringing up the Guide while in an active party or broadcast will now automatically open the party or broadcast section by default for faster access to controls.
- You can now transfer games to an external drive and connect the drive to a new console to play the games immediately. This means you won’t have to download all your games again if you’re upgrading to an Xbox One X.
- You can also back up your games and console settings to an external drive so that they’re ready to be applied to the new console during setup.
- Copy your games and apps over your home network from one console to another via network transfer.
- The ability to add your favorite games, friends, Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass, and more directly to your Home screen with a new feature called blocks. Once you’ve added blocks, you can remove or change the order of them as you see fit.
- Have up to 40 pins on the Home screen. These will appear in the Pin block on Home, as well as the Pins flyout in the new Guide.
- Easily discover new things, such as friend activities, leaderboards, LFG posts, tips, quick links to Game Hubs, across both your console and Xbox Live at the top of Home
- The choice between dark, light, or high-contrast theme options in Settings.
Additionally, there are also quite a few new features that benefit streamers and those who enjoy watching streams on Xbox One. You can find the full list of new features here.
(Via: Major Nelson)