Xbox One's New Guide And Home Screen Demoed In New Video
The update launches this spring, but some Xbox Insiders get their hands on it today.
Following an extremely brief glimpse of the Xbox One's new user interface we got last week, Microsoft has released a video better demonstrating what the system will look like following the release of a new update.
This video focuses primarily on the Guide and system's Home screen. In a blog post, Microsoft's Scott Henson acknowledged criticisms that the "that the UI can be complex and, for certain tasks, can require too many button presses." He added, "Our goal is to simplify the UI and increase overall system performance, and that starts with updating Home based on what you care most about for the games you play."
Your current activity no longer dominates the Home screen. Instead, it's represented with a smaller icon and buttons to jump to related areas, such as its Game Hub. Provided you don't have a custom image already selected, a game-specific piece of art will be displayed in the background.
As revealed previously, this update also makes a single press of the Xbox button bring up the Guide, as opposed to the two it currently takes. While still located along the left side of the screen, the revamped Guide provides access to numerous things it didn't before. These include an easy way to record game clips of various lengths, links to jump to recent games and apps, the My Games and Apps area, the Store, and your pins. If you're listening to background music, controls for it will pop up in the main tab of the Guide. You'll also find the same options to check out Achievements, your friends list, messages, notifications, and settings, as well as new broadcasting options.
This update appears to do away with Snap mode, something that was previously rumored. That functionality hasn't been removed entirely, though, as you can enable a new Achievement overlay that lets you track your progress.
Other changes include improvements to Cortana (such as the ability to set reminders), a more informative interface when downloading system updates, support for Blu-ray player bitstream passthrough (currently in beta), and developer support for audio options like Dolby Atmos. New accessibility options are also being introduced; most notably, the co-pilot feature that allows two separate controllers to be simultaneously as one.
All of this is planned to launch as part of the Creators Update (which brings Game Mode to Windows 10 PCs) sometime this spring. Members of the Xbox Insiders program will see the Xbox One features much sooner, with some people receiving the update today. It will then be rolled out to additional Insider members in the weeks to come.