The New Xbox One Experience arrives on Microsoft’s console in just a couple of weeks, with Microsoft announcing that the system update would drop November 12.
The update brings some major changes to the Xbox One use interface and will introduce backwards compatibility with select Xbox 360 titles.
While the Xbox One Home screen offers virtually identical functionality, it has received a significant visual overhaul. The overall layout is very reminiscent of Steam’s design sensibilities, with basic information available in an upper corner of the screen, and easily navigable tabs. In an attempt to visually declutter, your pins have been relocated to the bottom of the screen, quickly accessible with the triggers on the controller.
The Xbox One guide represents the biggest change, now relegated to a slender column on the left side of the screen. It’s similar to the ‘blades’ of the 360, and will load instantly whenever you double-tap the Xbox button. Navigating the current Xbox One interface can be a bit cumbersome with its scatter of frames and constant tabbing, so this is a welcome change for the better.
Numerous other quality of life updates will underpin what is probably the most exciting feature of November’s update: backwards compatibility. Microsoft has claimed that “hundreds” of titles will be available by the time the services launches, and plenty have already been announced. Most notable among these releases are the entries in the Gear of War franchise and Fallout 3 — which is being made available to all Xbox One preorders of Fallout 4, free of charge.
While Microsoft’s console continues to trail Sony’s PlayStation 4 in overall sales performance, consistent updates based on consumer feedback, and a hearty embrace of the previous generation, are definite steps in the right direction. Look for the console update to officially release on November 13th.
Follow Nate Church on Twitter @.