Microsoft Delivers the Xbox One Creators Update

Posted on March 29, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox One with 29 Comments

Microsoft announced today that it is rolling out the Xbox One Creators Update, which provides improved Home and Guide experiences, Beam game streaming, and more.

“We’ve released another big update that will begin rolling out to the Xbox One community starting today,” an Xbox representative told me this morning. “With this update, Xbox One gamers will be able to enjoy new features such as the ability to stream your Xbox gameplay directly from the Guide with Beam; utilize the Beam viewing app which lets you watch, chat, and interact with your favorite streamers in near real-time; experience a faster, more intuitive Home and Guide; experience new multitasking scenarios; and manage your family’s gameplay with new screen time limits, updated for today’s digital family.”

Microsoft first revealed the Creators Update for Windows 10 back in October, and it announced today that that upgrade will ship to PCs on April 11. Given that, and the short development time of the Creators Update for Xbox One, I’m a bit surprised that Microsoft is shipping it so quickly. But here it is.

As you may recall, Microsoft first started testing the Xbox One Creators Update with a very limited set of testers back in January. That actually angered many fans, however, because the Xbox Insider Program works quite a bit differently than the open Windows Insider Program, and utilizes a secret graft-based buddy system that leaves most enthusiasts out in the cold. But access to the Creators Update has quietly opened up to more and more testers over time.

And starting today, it’s apparently complete and is available to anyone with an Xbox One console. (Note that these rollouts often take time, so you may not see the update immediately.) Here’s what you can expect:

Updated Home. The Dashboard’s Home screen has gotten a nice visual refresh. The most obvious change is that the most-recently used game or app no longer takes up half the screen. And as with all previously Dashboard updates, Microsoft claims it has made various performance improvements, though I think most of the improvements are really related to UI efficiencies. (Fewer clicks = faster.)

Updated Guide. On that note, the new Guide is allegedly faster too, but that’s really because you can access it in one click (of the Xbox button on your controller) rather than two. Whatever, it works great, and it’s been thoroughly updated with quick access to the options you’ll really need. I like this change quite a bit.

Improved multitasking. Microsoft isn’t really talking up this aspect of the Creators Update, but it has removed the Snap feature from the Dashboard, so you can no longer display two apps side-by-side. Now, you can use new Guide options and, for some apps, a new PIP-style overlay so that you can do two things at once. (I’m a bit surprised Microsoft is glossing over the removal of Snap.)

Beam integration. As with the Creators Update for Windows 10, Microsoft has integrated its Beam streaming service into the Xbox One, providing gamers with an easy way to broadcast their gaming sessions, interact with viewers, find and view other gamers’ streaming, and more. This is a big topic, so I’ll be writing more about this soon.

Copilot. In a bid to reach beginning gamers (read: Nintendo fans), Microsoft has implemented a new controller feature called Copilot that lets two controllers act as one. Meaning, a child could be controlling a game and you could help them with the second controller.

Screen time limits. Microsoft is slowing expanding parental control-like functionality to the console, and with this update you can configure daily time allowance and limits for each of your children, similar to what you can do on PCs.

Exciting stuff. More soon!

 

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (30)

30 responses to “Microsoft Delivers the Xbox One Creators Update”

  1. Avatar

    Larry Sarge

    I'm liking the screen time limits option for my kids, but I think my wife will like it even more :-)

  2. Avatar

    pwrof3

    I've been using this for the past few months. I still find it annoying that I have to press 3 buttons to go to the Home screen. Of course, I could pony up for a Kinect and use my voice, too.

  3. Avatar

    scotttech1

    My machine didn't notify me or auto download the update, but when I went to settings->system I could click update, it took about 20-30 mins (I was dozing off during the update around midnight last night) approx 960 MB.

  4. Avatar

    maethorechannen

    "utilizes a secret graft-based buddy system that leaves most enthusiasts out in the cold."


    I wouldn't mind the way the Insider Programme works so much if when they announce a new feature they'd give at least some vague hint as to when a feature is going to land in the main release and keep everyone updated on the progress. Even something as simple as Holiday 2017 or Summer 2018 would be better than the current "here's an exciting new feature for select insiders that the rest of you may or may not be getting at some unspecified point in the future". (Though the language they use would probably still annoy me).


     They've got to have some idea of when a feature will land, if only because they need to budget for the development work.

  5. Avatar

    nbplopes

    The best thing is that it feels faster. I still dislike the overall experience.

  6. Avatar

    chaad_losan

    Shock and awe. The last two co-pilot and screen time limits sound really nice for a lot of parents. It's nice to see MS pushing stuff along.

  7. Avatar

    MutualCore

    To me Microsoft finally nailed the XBox interface for the first time. Now they've got something they can keep improving on, but still functions fine on an original XBox One. The new Guide is wonderful!

  8. Avatar

    pwrof3

    I've been using this for the past few months. I still find it annoying that I have to press 3 buttons to go to the Home screen. Of course, I could pony up for a Kinect and use my voice, too.

  9. Avatar

    alexoughton

    Oh so THAT's why it's called 1703 and not 1704...! ;-)

  10. Avatar

    Rob_Wade

    This update makes an already very bad experience for non-gamers a LOT worse. If you use your device for mostly watching TV, movies, Netflix/Hulu/Vudu, and you need to go to the Home screen you have to click more times and you completely lose what you're watching. What Paul and others see as a problem (recently used taking up 'half the screen') some of us rely upon. And Picture in Picture, as executed in this update, is disgusting. Inexplicably, if you bring up the TV guide while watching TV, the TV window gets small and ends up superimposed over a part of the guide. Stupid. At least if it was snapped it wouldn't be in the way. So, for non-gamers, this update is horrible.

  11. Avatar

    Elan Gabriel

    This update is OK, what I don't like is the ad on the new guide.

  12. Avatar

    GotCobol

    I really dislike them removing snap. I almost always had a hockey game or something snapped while playing something else.

  13. Avatar

    DaveHelps

    In the early days I used Snap quite a bit, although I can't actually remember what for.


    More recently I've found the only time I use Snap is when Cortana mishears a voice command and does a web search instead, usually followed by an embarrassing "Cortana, unsnap... Corrtarna, unsnap... CortANA, unnnsnnnnappp..."


    It's odd, the recognition is usually spot-on, but when it fails she gets really stubborn.

  14. Avatar

    MarkH

    That's really nice that the guide is faster, but how's the overall performance? Right now it's like trudging through three feet of mud with a bungee cord around your feet. Kinda of hoping moving the thumbstick side to side actually responds right away instead of making me second guess, "did I move that yet?"

    • Avatar

      MutualCore

      In reply to MarkH:


      Microsoft's solution to the whole navigation thing is use the new Guide. Don't bother with the rest of the interface. Scorpio will solve the whole problem of laggy interface by throwing new hardware at it.

    • Avatar

      gregsedwards

      In reply to MarkH:

      It's significantly faster, IMO. Overall, the entire Xbox UI feels much more responsive. There are also little design changes, like opening the sidebar to a centered Xbox logo and then navigating up or down to your destination, which go a long way to making it feel less laborious to get around the UI.

  15. Avatar

    rth314

    I disagree that the Guide is only "allegedly faster" because it's one click instead of two.  The Guide used to take a few seconds to display after double-clicking the Xbox button.  But now it is instantaneous!   I suspect they were able to accomplish this by using the freed up resources by getting rid of Snap and displaying the last used app/game on the Dashboard.  I find this improvement alone to be a major enhancement.

  16. Avatar

    PhilipVasta

    The new Guide is absolutely faster, and not just because of it being a single button press now. It's almost instantaneous.

Leave a Reply