February Xbox One Update arrives with Game Hubs in tow
In a few day’s time all Xbox One users will be able to see more of their background thanks to transparent tiles, follow the updates to their favorite Xbox One games and power up their controllers in half the time it would have normally taken. The February Xbox One Update that’s been in the hands of Xbox One Preview Program members is finally rolling out to everyone with an Xbox One console.
Microsoft announced it was rolling out the February Xbox One Update on its Xbox Wire news blog Thursday night. There’s a ton of fixes and changes here, all of which should result in a better Xbox Live experience. Most would argue that adding transparent tiles and background syncing so that users could see more of their background are the highlights of this update, but they’d be mistaken. Instead, it’s Game Hubs that should have Xbox One owners rushing to turn on their console.
Included in this update is a Game Hub for every Xbox One title. Xbox One owners can follow specific games for the latest news and leaderboard tracking. Microsoft says following a game will also give players access to “behind the scenes” content and updates on when new content for that game is available. Following a game will surface all of its relevant news directly in your Xbox Live Activity Stream. No, you’re not mistaken, it sounds an awfully lot like Facebook’s Pages system and that’s a good thing. If Xbox Live is going differentiate itself, the company will need to make it the place to play your games. Adding a layer of social interconnectivity just makes sense.
There’s plenty of small changes in the February Xbox One update too. After downloading the update, users will want to head into the devices area to upgrade the firmware on their controller. Microsoft says it has s cut connection time on the Xbox One controller in half and made some stability improvements. Microsoft has added indicators for Party chat connections and rolled out some better behind the scenes stuff so that it doesn’t take as much time to to get an audio chat with someone going.
The Xbox One isn’t just a video game console. Today’s update also includes fixes and changes for the Live TV app and Xbox OneGuide.Trending television notification is now available in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. This section tells users what people are watching who are connected to Xbox Live. France, Germany, Brazil and Mexico are also picking up the TV Trending area, but only based on what people are watching from the OneGuide. Microsoft has once again updated the lineup of video and audio equipment that Xbox One supports communicating with through Kinect. Xbox One users in the Netherlands are picking up the OneGuide for the first time and Windows Phone and Android devices can stream live television through the Xbox SmartGlass app in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. To be clear, this still requires the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner Microsoft released earlier this year.
To get the February Xbox One Update you most likely won’t need to do anything. Any Xbox One with low power mode turned on — and it is by default — will download the update and install it automatically. Users who’ve turned low-power mode off will need to go the System area in the Xbox One Settings app.