Microsoft has started rolling out a major update for Xbox One that implements a number of changes to the console. The biggest change in the update, and one that will likely catch the attention of gamers first, is a complete overhaul of the dashboard, which is now sleeker, with a simplified user interface.
Besides making the Xbox One dashboard easier on the eyes, Microsoft's other goal with the dashboard overhaul is to achieve improved performance so players can access the content they want as fast as possible. To that end, Microsoft has also tweaked the way the Guide button works, giving players an overlay menu to quickly access different functions of their console instead of forcing them to go back to the home screen.
While the dashboard overhaul is the biggest change made to the Xbox One in the system's latest update, other important changes have been made as well. For example, the latest update gives streamers something besides Twitch to rely on in the form of Beam, a new streaming service that will also make its way to Windows 10 at a later date. It's hard to say if Beam will catch on with gamers in the same way Twitch has, but if the rumors are true that Project Scorpio will stream in 4K resolution, then Beam could become Microsoft's platform to push that feature.
Something else in the latest update that may prove interesting to Xbox One fans is a new way to view achievements while playing games. Previously, Xbox One owners were able to view achievements while playing games thanks to the now-defunct Snap feature, but now they can do so with the new achievement tracker tool. With the achievement tracker, players can select multiple achievements to track at any given time, and these achievements will appear on-screen as they play, allowing achievement hunters to keep a close eye on their progress.
The achievement tracker, the dashboard overhaul, and the introduction of the Beam streaming service are the most notable changes Microsoft has introduced with the console's latest update, but that's not all the update does. It also adds the copilot feature, which lets players have two controllers control the same character on-screen to help more people experience games together.
Copilot may be most appealing to parents that want to help their kids play games, and those same parents may also be interested in the new screen time limits feature. Screen time limits expands the console's suite of parental controls, giving parents the ability to set an exact number of hours their kids are allowed to play the Xbox One each day.
From new parental controls to a major dashboard overhaul, the latest update for Xbox One is significant. And with the addition of services like Beam, the latest update may also be paving the way for the next-generation of Xbox One hardware, Project Scorpio, making it all the more exciting for Xbox fans.
Xbox One is available now.