It was amazing watching Microsoft improve its flagship video game and entertainment console via a series of major software updates throughout 2014. And that trend will continue into 2015, with this year’s first software update for Xbox One coming in February.
And it looks like a big update. Here’s what’s coming in the February 2015 system update for Xbox One.
Game hubs. This new feature will provide a new game hub for every Xbox One game, so you can easily see which of your friends are playing that game, compete with them in game leaderboards, check out new game clips and game broadcasts, and follow the game’s VIPs and top players. To see a game’s hub, press the Menu button on your Xbox One controller while selecting its tile in Pins, your recently played list, My Games and Apps, or anywhere else in the Dashboard.
Tile transparency. Here, we see Xbox One picking up a nice feature from Windows Phone: When you customize your Xbox One background with your own photo to image (which was added in November) you can now add transparency to most UI tiles so that the background shows through more effectively. (Some items can’t be made transparent due to usage rights/restrictions for certain images, Microsoft says.)
OneGuide for the Netherlands. Support for OneGuide is coming in preview form to users in the Netherlands, and Microsoft will fix an issue with some missing channels not appearing in the Netherlands OneGuide listings.
TV trending in OneGuide in more countries. This feature lets you see which shows are “trending” while viewing the detailed OneGuide TV listings. (Trending shows are those that are being watched by the most Xbox One users in your own country.) TV trending is currently available to all members in the US, UK and Canada, but in February it’s coming to France, Germany, Brazil and Mexico.
Improved control of TVs, set-top boxes and audio/video receivers. The February update will include improvements to the IR blasting database to address for new hardware models and issues reported by users.
Improvements for Xbox One Digital TV Tuner – Users the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain who have an Xbox One Digital TV Tuner will now to see video frames when fast-forwarding or rewinding paused TV on Xbox One. And these users will also be able to stream live TV to their Windows Phone or Android smart phones.
As for the schedule, Microsoft has selected a subset of the Xbox One user base to take part in something called the Xbox One preview program, and these members will gain early access to the February 2015 updates starting this week. Everyone else will see the update sometime in February, and I’ll be providing a quick overview and some hands-on impressions when that happens.
You can learn more about the coming February 2015 system update for Xbox One in this video..