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Xbox One’s March update gives the console a makeover

by Eric Frederiksen | March 29, 2017

The new update for the Xbox One is here, and it’s a big one – literally. Clocking in at just under 1GB, this update is a substantial one that changes the way we interface with the console.

Now, hitting the Xbox button on your controller will bring up the sidebar menu rather than dropping you to the home screen. To go to the home screen, you’ll actually hit that Xbox button and then hit “A” twice. If you’re in-game, the Xbox is now assuming that you want to stay in that game, rather than putting the interface front and center. The whole interface feels significantly faster, too.

Elements like the achievement tracker have been improved to be faster than before and provide more useful information, and the interface as a whole feels more informative so far.

You beamin’, bro?

Along with the overhaul to the interface comes a list of features. At the top of that list is Beam streaming. While it’s clear that Twitch is the dominant name in streaming, Microsoft wants to offer their own solution. Indeed, this new interface makes booting up a stream stupidly simple, and it’s easy to decide what you do and don’t want to show on the stream. Whether or not Microsoft will be able to garner any viewership through Beam is something that remains to be seen. Twitch dwarfs even Youtube’s gaming in mindshare in the gaming community, and attracting users to Beam instead of Twitch is going to be a tough proposition. I suspect that menu will end up adding some other streaming options or lie fallow before too long.

One of the cooler new features is something Microsoft is calling Copilot. This feature allows you to sync two controllers to the same player, giving both controllers identical functionality. You could use it for something as simple as helping a friend learn a new technique in a game, but where it’ll be especially useful is for people with accessibility issues. If someone has use of only one hand but has adapted to be more dexterous with their feet, for example, they can remap some buttons and sync up a second controller.

Screen-time limits can now be enabled as well so that you can decide just how long your kids can play Minecraft for before they have to do their homework.

The update is live right now. If the system doesn’t prompt you automatically, you can go to All Settings, System, then Updates, and update the console manually.

Xbox Wire

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Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...


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