Along with today’s release of the Windows 10’s major ‘Threshold 2’ update for PC’s, Microsoft has also made available the new Xbox One update. This is an overhaul of the user interface, simplifying navigation and improving the speeds of the menus. (The vanilla UI was notorious for things like pulling up a friends list taking unreasonably long times) The new UI will also make it easier to keep track of community events and live-streams.
The hub design also includes improvements to make the Xbox a more ease-of-use home entertainment system, allowing clearer access to Hulu, Netflix, tv streaming and more. These same changes have also been applied to the store, which has been divided into four categories so it isn’t as cluttered to find the game or app you want.
As mentioned before, this new UI update also brings with it the ability for the Xbox One to play a set list of Xbox 360 games. (you can find the listing on our previous announcement here ) There are still a lot of games we’d like to see added to the list; but it’s very likely more will be added down the road.
Xbox Avatars are also making a comeback, adding some features like improved shading, lighting, and anti-aliasing. For anyone that doesn’t know, the Avatars were Xbox’s answer to Nintendo Mii’s; allowing more design options, facial detail, …and limbs.
Controller remapping makes its way to us as well. This was originally planned to be a feature only for the $150 Xbox Elite Wireless Controllers; but popular demand convinced Microsoft to give the availability to standard controllers as well. This lets us remap the buttons which can make some games without this feature easier to play.
This was a great step in the right direction to keep the Xbox competitive against the PS4; but it does admittedly still have a way to go to catch up. The update also coincides with it’s near 2-year anniversary of the Xbox One release, which shows how far they’ve come, and we’re excited to see what comes next.