Thursday, November 24, 2016
The Xbox One Interface Could Be Going Through Major Changes
The Xbox One's user interface could be going through major changes. There are some strong rumors pointing to new updates and upgrades to the way the Xbox Guide works, and some of the new tabs that could make an appearance might make access to games even easier yet.
According to Windows Central, the instant Guide access when you double tap the center Xbox button on the controller will have a new tab added to the quick menu. The tab will be a recently accessed menu, similar to when you open up Big Picture mode in Steam, and when you head into your library the first tab that pops up shows the games you most recently accessed along with games that were most recently updated.
This feature will supposedly be an extension on what was first introduced with the Guide feature, where gamers could quickly double-tap the center button on the Xbox One Controller and get a quick-menu of their friends list, party invite options and chat communication access.
Windows Central further states that the menu will display your pins so you can customize what's pinned in the menu. If you want your favorite movies in there, you can do that. If you want quick access to the Xbox Store, you can do that, too. If you want to be able to hop over to certain apps or game menus or even the system utilities feature for the Xbox One, you can also reportedly pin that to the new menu.
The article also mentions that instead of double-tapping your way into the Guide menu, Microsoft is supposedly investigating ways to get into the menu with a single button press.
One of the most shocking changes that's supposedly coming to the Xbox One's new UI is the complete removal of the Snap mode. Previously, this was the only way to listen to custom music in games until the Xbox One had native DLNA support implemented. Now, I'm not really sure what the benefit is of Snap mode, but it could previously show other features, modes or apps on the side while you played games or watched movies. The article notes that Microsoft could be replacing Snap entirely with a new PIP (picture-in-picture) mode that allows users to video chat with friends, listen to music through the Xbox Music app, or navigate with other apps using the picture-in-picture mode. The small window can supposedly be anchored to different positions, similar to how the broadcasting works in Steam or how you can use the in-app menu to pin other accessibility features to the window while you game.
Unlike Steam, however, the picture-in-picture mode for the Xbox One will supposedly work with any Xbox supported app. So you can technically have any other app multi-tasking while you do other stuff -- such as playing Gears of War 4 while watching a Let's Play of Halo 5, or listening to the last Chad Kroeger song while checking out the latest live-stream of We Happy Few.
Supposedly, this new overhaul of the Xbox Guide and the OS is being designed with the Xbox Scorpio in mind. This is all a precursor for the upcoming mid-generation refresh from Microsoft, which is due to drop in fall of 2017. In a way, it would make sense to prep the OS and other software features beforehand so that there's systematic symmetry and usability present when the system launches instead of having to upgrade, modify and iterate post-launch, which is basically what happened with the original Xbox One release, which was missing a ton of features when it dropped on store shelves back in 2013.
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