Ah April, the month of chocolate egg goodness… and of course a new Xbox One system update! So what’s included in the new update? Party chat improvements, Game hub links, Achievement notifications and a What’s On area. check out the video below for a rundown of the features or visit Major Nelson’s blog for more information.
Late last month, voice messaging and dedicated party chat servers arrived for those on the preview program as a bonus update. For now, these features are being held while Microsoft fine tune them – hopefully they will be part of next month’s update.
Here’s a shortlist of features rolling out next week to those with early access to the Xbox One system update:
Activity feed updates: New ways for you to interact with friends in the activity feed. The interface will change to a single column scrolling list that is longer and includes more content. The ability to post text to your feed, and to “like” and comment on feed items. You can share game clips and anything else in the feed with friends either publically (to your activity feed) or privately (as an attachment to a message). You’ll also be notified when anyone likes, comments on or shares your items. Each user will get a personal feed on their profile, so you can see what specific friends have been up to. And, with SmartGlass, you can see what your friends have shared to their activity feed and “like” specific posts (additional activity feed support coming in future SmartGlass updates).
Expanded Friends area on Home: Right from Home, see what’s going on with your friends. Stay up-to-date with their current activity, the top trending games your friends are playing, and a leaderboard to see who has been working the hardest on their Gamerscore. Xbox are doing an extended preview on this, rolling it into the early access preview this month to a subset of our preview audience so we can refine it until it’s ready for the entire Xbox One market.
Mobile purchase: One of the most requested features on Xbox Feedback. Using Xbox SmartGlass or on Xbox.com, you can remotely purchase games and Add-on content. No more waiting to begin downloading when you get home – if your console is set to automatically take updates, your console will begin downloading your purchase.
Low battery notification: You asked for it, now a notification will pop up when your controller battery is getting low.
Disable notifications during video: Adding the ability to turn off notifications based feedback we heard from you.
Enabling 3D Blu-ray: An update to the Blu-ray player app will enable 3D Blu-ray functionality on Xbox One.
OneGuide in Brazil, Mexico, Austria and Ireland: Live TV listings can be configured for four new countries as part of this month’s Preview program. And now there is an OneGuide Issue Reporter available under the TV & OneGuide settings, Troubleshooting section.
Last seen time in Friends list: Direct from Xbox Feedback, the friends list will now show how long it’s been since a friend has been online. For example, “Last seen 20m ago: Forza Motorsport 5.”
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.
Major Nelson has announced via Xbox Wire that new features are to be implemented for the next Xbox One system update. It is already rolling out to those in the preview program and will eventually find its way to all online connected Xbox One consoles across the LIVE service.
As per the Wire:
Sound Mixer for Apps with Snap and Volume Controls When Using Kinect with Chat
We’ve received great feedback from fans asking for more control over audio levels and background sound. As a result, under Settings we’ve added two new features for controlling your audio options. With the new Sound mixer, you’ll be able to control the volume levels of two apps when you’re using Snap letting you decide which app is louder. In this same section, you’ll also be able to control the volume levels when you’re using Kinect for chat.
Opt-In to Help Improve Speech Recognition
Being able to control your Xbox One with voice commands can be a magical moment and we want to continue making this great for all Xbox One owners worldwide. The more voice samples we have to input into our algorithms, the better and more responsive Xbox One can be to our fans. If you want to help us in our efforts to make voice and speech improvements for Kinect even better, you can opt-in to a speech data collection. Under Settings, then Privacy & Online Safety, go to Customizing privacy and online safety and set Share Voice Data to Allow. This is completely optional and all voice data shared via this setting will be used for product improvement only.
Take the Next System Update When You Want
You’ll now also be able to take this next system update as soon as it’s available if you want. When this update is made available, you’ll find the option under Settings, then select System update as shown below.
The Verge has reported that Microsoft plan to release a dashboard update this year for the Xbox 360, STOP THE PRESS! Whilst a new update to the dashboard is a pretty obvious assumption all round since there has been at least one every single year since the Xbox 360 release; the big news here is that The Verge claim to know its features:
Smaller LIVE Tiles as per the free Windows 8.1 update soon
Microsoft Points replaced with ‘Real’ currency
Xbox 360 to New Generation Xbox Messaging
How about as we wait for the new Xbox reveal we take a little look back at all the dashboard updates since the original dashboard waaay back in the day! Who can remember their first browse through the original Blade style dashboard?
We’ll detail the next dashboard announcements when they drop…possibly on May 21st during the new generation Xbox reveal?