The Xbox One is getting a new look as Microsoft attempts to emphasize its console on its major function: gaming.
Last week, Microsoft began dishing out the biggest software update for the Xbox One since its launch in 2013.
Majority of people will notice the amendment as a visual face-lift aimed at cutting the time taken to find and start-up games, watch videos or chat with friends. Also coming with the update is the ability to play some games made for the Xbox 360.
The changes come as Microsoft attempts to make up for what it has lost to rival Sony seeing as both companies released their newest game consoles in 2013.
The third version of the game-console line Microsoft initially released in 2001, the Xbox One represented a change for Microsoft. The console was pitched to users as a home-entertainment hub, an effort to widen its appeal beyond gamers and open such entertainment realms for Microsoft such as original films or TV shows and video streaming.
However, the approach did not quite work as planned. Gamers were not interested in a home entertainment hub and were put-off by unpopular policies, revoked prior to the device’s release, that would have need an internet connection to play games offline and limited use of game discs.
Mike Ybarra, a director of programme management at Microsoft, stated that within the Xbox team now, there is an emphasis on the core consumer , what they want to do, what they do and what they like. He added that the team wanted the ability to do common tasks easier and faster, and that is the main goal they have.
The update includes a vertically arranged home page that guides users to their frequently used features and saved items with a click or two of a controller.
At the same time, a readily accessible bar on the left permits quick access, even within games, to the device’s settings and Xbox Live social media functions.
An analyst who tracks video gaming, Brian Blau, with researcher Gartner, stated that the update is a remarkable change. In the previous version, one had to go into menus, submenus and tiles; not all of which had a logical layout. He added that the new design makes the whole system easier.
One of the main things gamers wish for is the ability to play games made for the former version of Xbox.
Gamers’ existing libraries become obsolete when a new game consoles arrives, and Microsoft views this new functionality as a major selling point to encourage Xbox 360 users to purchase the newest model.
Microsoft claims that 104 Xbox 360 games will function on the Xbox One. More will come, depending on user requests and Microsoft’s ability to arrange deals with publishers to allow usage of their games on the Xbox One.