Getting Windows 10 on Xbox One is obviously a big deal for Microsoft. But you wouldn’t know it from the way the Xbox team is talking up this update: in November, Xbox One will be updated to include Xbox 360 game compatibility, a new Guide, a redesigned Dashboard, and a new Store. Oh, and it will be powered by Windows 10 as well.
Indeed, Microsoft’s official announcement about this coming update—Xbox One receives a system update every single month, so this is just one of 12 in 2015—only twice. “The New Xbox One Experience will be powered by Windows 10,” the announcement notes. And it will “integrate the speed of Windows 10” into Xbox One, it says. That’s it.
I suspect that part of the reason is that Windows 10 functionality, like other Xbox One features, is something that happens over time. For example, the ability to run Windows 10 universal apps on Xbox One is obviously happening … at some point, in some fashion. But that’s apparently not the case for November. With this initial release, Microsoft is replacing the Windows 8-based plumbing in Xbox One with Windows 10 underpinning only. And while they’re crediting this change with a 50 percent performance bump for “popular gaming features,” that seems to be about the extent of it.
So what else is happening in this November system update?
Xbox 360 game compatibility. As with Windows 10, this isn’t happening all at once. Instead, a short list of Xbox 360 titles will become playable on the Xbox one with the November update, and more will be added over time. On the good news front, Xbox 360 games will be compatible with Game DVR (video recording and screenshots), and multiplayer works normally.
New Guide. A new Guide overlay will be accessible when you double-tap the Xbox button on your controller. This will let you access your Friends list, start a Party, access Settings, view notifications, view messages, and more, all without leaving the game or app you’re using.
Redesigned Home experience. The Home experience on the Dashboard is being redesigned to make it easier to share things, see what your friends are doing, and access game hubs.
New Community section. A new Community experience in Dashboard helps you “tap into what other gamers are doing on Xbox Live and directly contribute to the conversation happening within the Xbox Live community.” It includes a new activity feed for your friends and a Trending area for viewing the most popular posts from Xbox Live.
Resigned OneGuide. The OneGuide is being updated with faster TV listings, a new TV picture-in-picture mode, movie, TV show and deal highlights, and more.
Improved Store. The Store app is being updated to present the same basic four areas you see in the Windows 10 Store—Games, Movies & TV, Apps, and Music—and a new vertically-oriented gallery view with more obvious categories like Staff Picks, New Releases, Top played, Top rated, Coming Soon and Recommendations for finding new content.
Ahead of the November launch of this new Xbox One Experience, Microsoft plans to soft-launch it to Preview Program members over the next few weeks. It won’t happen all at once, however. First, it will be opt-in only, and even then only for a subset of the full Preview Program. So look for a message from Microsoft in Messages and act quickly.
Tagged with Windows 10