Microsoft tests an updated version of the Xbox Guide interface for its Insider users, revealing a new “copilot” mode that allows players to use multiple controllers on the same profile.
Microsoft has seen massive success for its most recent release, Xbox One, with the console consistently outselling the Sony PlayStation 4. Combine the sky-high sales with the statistical data that shows Xbox One users as more valuable than PS4 users, and it seems that Microsoft has a solid formula to lock in an audience and keep them happy.
The satisfaction continued when Microsoft send out a newly-tweaked version of the Xbox Guide interface to members of its premium Xbox Insider Program. Tied into the update was a brand-new “copilot” controller mode, which caught the attention of many players.
In a news post on the Xbox website, Xbox Partner Group Program Manager Scott Henson laid out the details of the latest update, arguably the most notable of which was the copilot mode. “One important area for us with this release is to enable Xbox One to be able to be used and played by everyone,” Henson said of the new mode. Henson explained that copilot mode is an accessibility option, giving users the freedom to “assign two gamepads to the same player.”
Henson went on to say that the copilot feature “allows two controllers to act as if they are one” and that this fresh functionality will make the console “more inviting to new gamers needing assistance, more fun by adding cooperative controls for any game, and easier for players who need unique configurations to play.” While custom controller options already exist, like controller remapping, copilot mode brings an added layer of ease to gameplay.
Also included in the update are tweaks to accessibility options like controller rumble settings and audio output, and changes to the center Xbox button’s functionality. Users will experience a faster menu load time after pressing the Xbox button. Additionally, the default menu will now float, making the transition from game to home screen much simpler. There’s also a new start page, which is “designed to get you to the content you care about most, including your games and apps, Home, Store, your recently played games and apps and your top Pins.”
Another interesting add-in is the implementation of labels to the Xbox One achievement tracker. The update allows users to easily tag their games with a transparent tab that displays completion of achievements. Players will no longer have to dig through the achievements menu to track their progress. Other tweaks are updates to the Cortana software and an enhancement to the built-in Blu-ray player, which will now “support a beta of bitstream passthrough.”
The emphasis on accessibility in the new copilot mode included in the Xbox Guide interface update is a breath of fresh air for Microsoft. Players who are in need of unique controller configurations in order to play their favorite games will likely be quite pleased to hear (and maybe even test out) the Xbox One copilot mode in their next round of Overwatch or to take Resident Evil 7 for a spin. And other console company’s can follow suit. With the apparent rivalry between Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, the latter may be wise to take some cues from the former to make its console more accessible to all types of gamers.
The Xbox One was released in North America on November 22, 2013. A revision to the Xbox One hardware and software, code-named “Project Scorpio,” is set for a late 2017 release.