Following this month's Xbox One update and the November update that's currently out to members of the console's preview program, expect to get yet another update in December to close out the year. Compared to those two updates, however, don't expect the end of the year one to be as large and full of new improvements.
Additionally, and probably to the displeasure of many, the ability to take screenshots won't be part of the package. Contrary to what we initially thought after seeing what's in store for next month, the ability to take screenshots won't make an appearance until 2015. Looks like we'll have to settle for custom backgrounds and achievement art for the time being.
Phil Spencer, current head of Xbox, explained to IGN that the lack of the screenshot feature this year is due, simply, to how much work it is. Turns out it's not as simple as one might be led to believe, so maybe we should give Sony and the PS4 some credit for being able to pull it off already. Although, Spencer didn't specify what part of the feature was proving to be difficult:
"We can do video, how hard can it be to just grab a frame of the video? It’s a little more technically challenging than I thought. Two weeks ago, they think they’ve found a good solution for screenshots. They’re working on it. They know people want it. The team has a path to getting it done, and now it’s just prioritizing."
Another reason for the feature's delay? The holidays, naturally. Come Christmas, or at least that week, there's no telling just how many new Xbox Ones will be powered on and setup. And something like that needs monitoring, lest new owners run into trouble.
In fact, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still being as big as they are, new Xbox Ones could be turned on and updated prior to them being gifted for the aforementioned December holiday. Some people may like to plan ahead like that, because waiting through an install screen isn't the best way to spend the holiday season (and your time off).
"In December, it’s probably a time for us to pause for a little bit and settle just as all the new consoles are coming online."
Speaking of those install times, Spencer also stated that shortening/speeding them up is still something on Microsoft's list of things to improve upon; this particular thing has actually become a bit of a personal goal for him.
Similar to the early reveal of the November update, expect the subsequent December content to be previewed early as well (probably late next month). And while it's unfortunate that those eager to get their screenshot taking projects of the ground now have to wait until the new year, at least they have the other updates and what they have to offer. Between the two, there's sure to be something to hold everyone over until 2015.