Xbox One gets external storage support, real names for friends next month

June's system update will introduce a bevy of features for Microsoft's latest console.


Microsoft announced today that June's Xbox One system update will bring a range of new features and functionality to the console, including external storage support and the ability to identify yourself on Xbox Live with your real-world name if you want to. There's no word yet on when the update will arrive, but we have a detailed breakdown of what it will include.

Regarding external storage support, when the system update rolls out next month, you can connect up to two external hard drives at once. Drives must be at least 256GB and use USB 3.0, and they'll need to be formatted. After your drive is formatted (the Xbox One will do this for you), you'll be able to copy and move games, as well as apps and downloaded adds-ons, to your external hard drive.

Microsoft says external hard drive support for Xbox One is a "great way" to bring your content to a friend's house and get started playing right away. Of course, you'll still need sign into Xbox Live if you purchased the content digitally or insert a disc to verify that you bought the game. But the major benefit is that you won't need to re-download your game or DLC if you want to play at a friend's house.

By comparison, Sony's PlayStation 4 does not support external hard drives, but you can replace the on-board 500GB hard drive with a new one if you want. Today's confirmation of external hard drive support for the Xbox One is not much of a surprise, as it comes just days after an Xbox One developer teased that this functionality was going to be introduced soon.

The other major component of next month's Xbox One system update is the introduction of real names for friends. Importantly, this feature is entirely optional, and if you do elect to use your real name, you can choose who can see it and who cannot. PS4 owners can also elect to use their real name when playing online.

June's Xbox One system update also tweaks the second-screen SmartGlass app for Xbox One and brings the entire OneGuide and universal remote control functionality to SmartGlass. This means you'll be able to view your TV listings through SmartGlass and even set programs to record from inside the app. SmartGlass for Xbox One will also be updated with the ability to reorder your pins, meaning you'll be able to organize your pins in categories based on your specific preferences. The update will also bring your Xbox One activity feed to SmartGlass, allowing you to get notifications about what your friends are up to via your smartphone, PC, or tablet.

In addition, the forthcoming Xbox One system update makes OneGuide available in more markets. Starting in June, people in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy can use OneGuide. Finally, June's Xbox One update brings an automatic sign-in option and a hub where users can explore the new Xbox Live benefits for subscribers, like Games With Gold.

The Xbox One launched in November and Microsoft has regularly released system updates ever since. The console sold more than 3 million units by the end of 2013, though Microsoft has not announced a new total sales figure for the system so far in 2014.

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