Xbox One owners can expect to see a completely redesigned dashboard and the introduction of several major features with a firmware update launching in November, Microsoft announced.
New Xbox One features launching by the end of this year include a revamped OneGuide, a redesigned Activity Feed, and the long-anticipated backward compatibility for legacy Xbox 360 titles.
Promising players that the New Xbox One Experience “will get you to popular gaming features up to 50 percent faster,” Director of Program Management for Xbox Mike Ybarra explains that Microsoft is incorporating features from its Windows 10 operating system in order to improve system-wide performance.
After installing November’s update, Xbox One owners will be able to play more than 100 supported Xbox 360 titles via a new backward compatibility feature. Ybarra notes that the platform’s lineup of supported legacy games will expand “with hundreds more in the months to come.”
The update additionally overhauls OneGuide, allowing players to access frequently-used features and apps more quickly than in previous firmware revisions. Double-tapping the Xbox One controller’s Home button will instantly bring up a user’s friends, settings, system notifications, and messages. Players can also party up with friends over Xbox Live using a new shortcut.
The Xbox One will also boast a redesigned Home screen by the end of the year, replacing the console’s current dashboard with “a faster and easier interface to provide access to games and apps you’ve recently used,” according to Ybarra. The Home screen grants quick access to title-specific Game Hubs, and allows easy sharing of achievements and recorded game clips.
Community features also get a boost with the forthcoming update, as Microsoft will add a new Trending section to the Xbox One’s home screen, focused on popular activity posts on Xbox Live. A redesigned Activity Feed will make it easier for players to see what their friends are playing at a glance.
Other new features include an App Channels area and a redesigned Store that allows users to sort through new categories like Staff Picks, New Releases, Top played, Top rated, Coming Soon and Recommendations.
The New Xbox One Experience will roll out first for Xbox One Preview Program members. All Xbox One owners will receive the update by the end of November.