The next major update to Xbox One will focus on content creation and console performance.
Xbox Live’s Major Nelson revealed today that the first batch of Xbox Insiders will begin receiving prompts for the next major Xbox One system update. Coined as the Creator’s Update, everything being added to the system will make quality of life improvements for users and make streaming with friends and followers easier.
The most obvious addition is the reworked home. With less images on the screen at a time, it seems that the Xbox team is trying to make the dashboard less distracting. The Xbox team said the design choices were made to reduce the number of button presses it takes to get to a game or app.
Perhaps the area that got the biggest face lift is the guide that users can pull up when using games or apps. Although it looks more complicated at first, having a guide that can take you pretty much anywhere on the store from your Pin collection to the Store should streamline usability. Major Nelson and the rest of the team emphasized that this should be where gamers can do most of the navigating on the console, so going to the home page every time you want to play a different game should feel less essential. Additionally, building most game and app accessibility into the guide should free up so power on the console and make navigation a little quicker. Remember, the initial waves going out to Xbox Insiders will likely have bugs and chug at times, but by time the build goes public, it should be faster than ever.
Along with the screenshot and game clip recording buttons in the guide, the Xbox team has also added new prompts that will allow streamers to go live and manage their stream on the fly. While it wasn’t discussed at length in the above video, the emphasis on faster, easier streaming is likely the result of the Xbox team working closely with up-and-coming game streaming company Beam, who Microsoft purchased in 2016.
The achievement app also got a bit of an overhaul that will allow users to create a semi-transparent box that stays on the screen during gameplay so tracking achievements won’t require pausing the action. While this won’t drop any jaws, it’s a neat feature that the achievement hunters out there will surely appreciate.
Never willing to give up on a feature few are enjoying, the Creator Update will also feature a more refined Cortana that will set reminders and make general navigation a breeze. Although it’ll take some time in my hands to give a full evaluation, this seems like a more polished version of Xbox One’s “Xbox go to Battlefield 4” when the Kinect was still a staple of the console. Still, if it makes it easier for some, there’s no shame in adding to the occasionally wonky assistant.
Lastly, the Xbox team has added a nifty feature called copilot mode which will allow users with limited mobility to play a little easier with the help of a friend. Major Nelson made a point of saying copilot was designed to work system wide, so there’s no work needed from the developers of individual games. Again, this is a niche addition to the console, but to gamers who struggle with mobility, this seems like a great improvement.
Xbox Insiders could see this update on their console as soon as today, but roll out will continue for the coming weeks. After the Insiders provide feedback and the Xbox team adds a little more polish, the Creator Update will launch for all Xbox One owners. While the team hasn’t shared when they want the update to go public, it’s safe to say that it’ll be several weeks if past updates are any indication.