Microsoft showed off its New Xbox Experience earlier today, and if I’m forced to find a theme for all the changes and upgrades, that theme is “unity.”
The company revealed what it is calling the New Xbox Experience today in video and in writing on Xbox Wire. Think of this new software as the glue that will hold all the different parts of Xbox together.
The New Xbox Experience does this in two ways. First, it binds the Xbox phone apps, the Xbox app on Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X through a user interface that matches. The same font’s visual treatments to images, shapes, iconography, and color scheme are used on them all. Second, features that are available on one version of Xbox — Party Chat for example — are available on all of them. Want to change your avatar picture? You can do that from anywhere you can play a game.
A unified look and feature set is something I’ve personally harped on for years. I’m happy to see that someone inside the company felt the same way I did.
Speaking of harping, one thing everyone has complained on in recent years is the Xbox One’s software performance. There are times when the console seemingly stalls. At other points, you’re waiting for the console to catch up to the last command you gave. (Music controls in the Xbox Guide are a perfect example of this.) According to Microsoft, Xbox’s Home screen will load “50 percent faster when you boot your Xbox, and is almost 30 percent faster to load when you’re returning from a game.” Updates will result in 40 percent less memory usage too. Right now, I’m wondering if at least the faster load time only applies to the Xbox Series X, but we’ll find out soon enough. Even still, faster loading times and less glitchy transitions? To borrow a quip from Chris Rock’s Head of State, You got my vote.
It seems all the different parts of Xbox will get these updates by the time Xbox Series X launches in November. And, if this New Xbox Experience is anything like previous software upgrades, Xbox Insiders will get access to it before launch.