The August 2020 update for Xbox is pushing a unified user interface experience across Xbox One and the upcoming Xbox Series X.
Currently rolling out to Xbox customers, the update includes an improved landing page for Xbox Guide, and a new inbox which combines alerts, messages, and game invitations into one feed – this includes notifications from across all Xbox apps including the mobile app, which is currently in beta. The Guide will also be improved for new users, with easier-to-read pages and more consistent button commands.
The Parties and Chats tab has been improved as well, with previews of new text messages before they are opened, and the much-requested option to individually adjust party member volumes. The Activity Feed has also received a revamp: all shared posts are now the same size, improvements have been made to the Game, People and Community Content Blocks on Home, and shortcuts have also been introduced to boost post engagement.
In addition to the above, members of the Xbox Insiders program are also testing a visual update to match PC and mobile apps; themes for user profiles; and the ability to sign in on multiple devices at once (though users can only play games on one at a time).
According to Jonathan Hildebrandt, Principal Program Manager of Xbox Experiences, the new look user experience puts gamers at the centre.
“It’s a vision we have been building toward for over a year, culminating with the release of Xbox Series X this November.
“The August Xbox 2020 Update is the next step on that journey and is rolling out soon to all customers. It includes a variety of improvements, including bigger changes like a new landing page for the Xbox Guide, to smaller, more subtle improvements like individual volume sliders for party members,” he said.
Pricing for the next-generation Xbox Series X has yet to be revealed; it is slated for release at the end of the year to compete with the Sony PlayStation 5.