The ability to customize the look and feel of a console's dashboard has become a highly requested feature over the years. The last generation of consoles did it; Sony implemented themes into the PS Vita; Nintendo just updated the 3DS with themes, and soon the PS4 will get some themes of its own. Now Microsoft and the Xbox One are joining the customization party, continuing their ongoing trend of adding new features via consistent updates.
Current Xbox head Phil Spencer announced the news towards the end of an interview on the Inner Circle Podcast, explaining that the Xbox community has been very vocal about their desire for themes and backgrounds (among other things, most likely). Microsoft has been doing fairly well when it comes to appeasing its user base, even going so far as letting select Xbox One users beta test new and upcoming features. Presumably these customization options will hit the beta program too, when the time comes.
In addition to themes and backgrounds pictures, Spencer also mentioned support for taking screenshots. Unfortunately, more in depth details weren't given, as that's probably something that will come a bit closer to the next big system update:
"You will see it; I'll announce it here. Themes and background pics are something that we are working on, and screenshots; I know people beat me up on screenshots...I know people like to customize the look of the dash...we are going to deliver on them."
As for when people can expect to customize their system, Spencer couldn't say, as he didn't have an exact timeframe, but he noted that the feature is definitely being worked on. In this case, it depends on development time and what takes priority.
Similar to the PS4 eventually getting support for themes, it'll be rather interesting to see if the Xbox One follows in the footsteps of its predecessor and allows people to create their own themes or upload personal background images. Microsoft is sure to offer both free and priced themes (probably for $1.99), but the company could win more people over by encouraging the creation and sharing of custom made themes. Sony has yet to reveal its stance on this, so Microsoft would do well to address this first.
How excited are you for themes and other customization options on the Xbox One? Exactly how far do you want Microsoft to go with this? An Xbox One theme making tool perhaps?
Source: Inner Circle Podcast