A few weeks back, I got my hands on a build of the new Xbox store that will eventually make its way to the console. Today, Microsoft is opening up about that new store and is going to start rolling out to the beta testers here soon.
At a high level, the store was completely rebuilt with an emphasis on speed. While nearly every aspect of the Xbox dashboard has been rebuilt at some point for performance improvements, the store is currently a very sluggish experience. And generally speaking, the dashboard is significantly faster than what we had a few short years ago but there is still room for improvement.
With the new UI, Microsoft’s goal is to make it faster to find the content you are looking for, faster to load (under 2 seconds), and easier to try out new memberships like GamePass.
The navigation has been overhauled to focus on a left rail for a familiar navigation experience and the shopping cart has been updated to make it easier to actually see what you are about to purchase. There are also improvements to viewing backward compatible titles as well.
The company is also making it a requirement to be signed in to view the Xbox Store. The reason for this is two-fold: 1) to make sure kids who are not supposed to be accessing the store don’t see inappropriate content 2) customize the content that is relevant to your interest.
There are also updates to the way content is filtered so that it aligns with the permissions set for child accounts; effectively, blocking content rated at or above the permissions of the account.
The codename for the updated store app was Mercury. This was already known info but the URL slugs on the Xbox post announcing the update confirm the information.
While the store update isn’t the most exciting announcement to come out of the Xbox org, it’s an important one as the store has been low-hanging fruit for a long time. With the new update, the dashboard is getting a little bit better.