Now that the Christmas and New Year period is officially over, Microsoft have resumed their monthly plan of scheduled Xbox One system updates, and they’ve just released details of the firmware refresh for February.
The addition that people will notice most is the option for tile transparency on the console’s home screen, allowing you to see more of your gorgeous custom backgrounds. The biggest addition though, will be Game Hubs.
Game Hubs will be a location on the home screen that collates stats on your progress through every game on the Xbox One catalogue. Compare yourself to your friends and throughout the community. This will list achievement information, DLC details and Twitch videos. There are also some shortcuts for how you’d like to play the game. Options for full screen play, with achievements snapped, Party Play, or to instantly start a Twitch broadcast are added to the “Play” submenu.
Other additions include the option to stream live TV to Windows Phone and Android users, if the TV Tuner option is available in your region, and there is a new “trending” tab for Live TV too.
Microsoft have also added some behind-the-gui updates for the console’s capability to communicate with newer models of TV.
If you’re lucky enough to be on the dashboard beta, this update should be available now, if not it’ll be heading your way early next month
Have a look at the overview video below, with Major Nelson and Richard Irving from the Xbox Engineering team for a quick demo.
It was recently reported that the next dashboard update for Xbox One adds the much-needed external HDD support since the console’s in-built 500GB HDD would fast run out of space if you were to own nearly every Xbox One game on the market right now!
It couldn’t be easier to increase your storage capacity of games and apps with the external storage support features we’re bringing in June. Your Xbox One system will soon support up to two external hard drives at once. Simply plug in your 256 GB or larger USB 3.0 external hard drive and once formatted, copy and move games, apps and game add-ons to increase your storage capacity at home.
Beta tester’s have been reporting that the use of external HDD’s on the Xbox One improves loading times for games:
I am one of the Beta testers for the June Xbox One update that add’s the ability to use up to 2 External Hard Drives. I am using a Seagate 4tb Self Powered Hard Drive…
Our set up is as follows: In our Living room Xbox One, Digital version of Ryse: Son of Rome installed on the internal HDD. In our gaming room we have another Xbox One, Digital version of Ryse: Son of Rome installed on the new external HDD.
For the game, I am using the beginning of Chapter 4 titled “Trial by Fire”.
Trial by Fire Load time using Internal HDD : 1.01.55 (one minute, 1.55 seconds)
Trial by Fire Load time using External HDD: 44.49 seconds…
Microsoft hasn’t officially confirmed the improvements to loading times, but it seems that times vary per game and per external drive.
The recent February Update for Xbox One that included a small number of improvements such as Battery Indicator, HDD Space usage, USB Keyboard inputs and a range of background implementations to ready up the ID@Xbox Indie program, has been giving a small amount of gamers a black screen of death!
Microsoft has acknowledged that this is a problem and will address it with another update or hot fix in the coming weeks, but there is a temporary measure which can be in place to remove the black screen and continue your gaming as per usual…
This does not appear to be widespread, but can be addressed by the player by holding the Xbox One power button on the console for ten seconds to restart.
It is also worth noting for interest that the issue is not a problem with the TITANFALL Beta and Respawn do not need to be bombarded with complaints over a black screen!
For those lucky enough to have a new shiny Xbox One Console, Microsoft has released its first system update following the day one patch the system requires. Revealed by Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb last night, those in the UK and Europe will start to see the update today.
A. If you are using the Xbox One “Instant On” (the low power state that allows you to instantly power up your console by saying “Xbox On”), your console automatically checks for updates when you turn it off. Once we make the update available (on Tuesday, December 10th, 5:00 PM PT) this means the following will happen:
Your console will automatically download the update after you turn it off. Once the update has been downloaded in the background, your console will power completely down. Please note: You will need to manually power your console back on after the update has been downloaded. Because the update will power your console completely down, the “Xbox On” voice command won’t be available until after the update is fully installed.
When you turn the console on you’ll see the update being applied. After that, your Xbox One will reboot. You’ll know the update is installing when you see the Xbox logo on the green background (like at the top of this post.) This can take anywhere from 2-5 minutes. Once the update has finished installing, you’ll boot to the Home screen and you’re all set.
Don’t worry, if you are out of town for the holidays, you console also does regular checks for updates and will download it in the background even if you have not used you Xbox One in a couple of days.
B. If you are not using the Xbox One “Instant On” feature, you will be required to download and apply this update
This update addresses the following:
Addresses SmartGlass issues for some users when coming in and out of connected standby
Addresses multiplayer issues for some users when re-joining games
Addresses issues with inconsistent notifications for some users
Addresses dashboard performance for some users
Offers improvements for Xbox One’s TV, system update, and content update services for scaling over time
Updated wireless networking driver to improve connectivity issues for some users
Although it was already widely known that Microsoft will be making the switch from MS Points to real cash values in the next dashboard update, it has now been confirmed that support will still be in hand for MS Point Cards that you can buy at retailers or online instant codes where you probably get ripped off more times than not!
Taking to the Xbox Wire – Marc Whitten delivered: “Our goal is to make this transition as easy as possible for you. After the next Xbox 360 system update, when you go to buy something or redeem a Microsoft Points card or code on your console with your Microsoft account, we’ll add to your account an amount of currency equal to or greater than the Xbox Marketplace value of your Microsoft Points, which will be retired…”
“…Don’t worry about your Microsoft Points Cards either. We’ll continue to accept purchased Microsoft Points Cards and codes until further notice, and we’ll add to your account an amount of local currency equal to or greater than the Marketplace value of those points. In addition, we know you’ve worked hard on your Microsoft Points earned through Xbox Live Rewards. These will remain in your Xbox Live account and transition to local currency with the rest of your Microsoft Points.”
No other exciting features or additions to the dashboard were mentioned – it appears a conversion to currency is likely to be the only major noticeable change.