Microsoft has rolled out a new Xbox One system update for Insiders that reworks the console’s dashboard dramatically. Three major areas of the Xbox One dashboard have been updated: Home, Guide, and Community, but changes to Avatars, Game Hubs, and Profiles are coming later this fall. According to Microsoft, the changes were made specifically in response to user feedback to make the Xbox dashboard more, “fun, personalized, and social.”
Xbox VP Mike Ybarra wrote up a post on Xbox Wire and Major Nelson put together a video previewing the significant changes being made in the Xbox system update. The changes are available today to check out and should be immediately noticeable as they start with the Xbox Home, available exclusively to the Alpha Ring members of the Xbox Insiders program.
The new Home uses a system called Microsoft Fluent Design and is highly customizable. While the base panel is predefined, additional “Content Blocks” can be added or removed at will.Users can add a variety of content to their Homes. The examples shown in the preview video include adding games, apps, friends, or the user’s Pins. Adding a game, app, or friend creates a block unique to that subject.
For example, adding Overwatch to Home creates a block that has the game itself, as well as various content related to that game like an activity feed, news, and more. For minimalists, users can choose to have no Content Blocks and leave Home by itself or add only the Pins menu which can catalog over a dozen games or apps. However, it seems like the base Home panel cannot be changed or removed, and the content within it is still automatically filled in by Microsoft.
The Home part of the Xbox One’s dashboard isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Microsoft has also made major changes to the Guide menu since it’s a part of the Xbox One UI that is used very often. There’s nothing complicated about the Guide changes, as they’re meant to provide users with access to more content faster without being overly tedious. Areas that users use most often, like online sign-in, Achievements, party and multiplayer options, messages, captures, and the Home menu all have their own tab for quick access.
The Community part of the dashboard is also changing, giving the Activity Feed an entirely new layout. More content will be displayed on-screen, with it being much easier to skim through the broader off-screen feed too. Selecting commonly-used areas of the feed will also be simpler, like how selecting comments will expand them to fill the screen.
Home, Guide, and Community are just the initial areas of the Xbox One dashboard receiving major changes with other area reworks planned in the months ahead. The official launch will be available for all Xbox One users later this fall, with more Insiders getting access for testing as time passes. Stay tuned for more information soon.