We're still weeks away from the launch of the Xbox Series X, but Microsoft has just revealed the new "look and feel" of the Series X operating system. The August 2020 update, said to be "rolling out soon", sports a bunch of improvements – including one feature many Xbox fans have wanted for years.
Jonathan Hildebrandt, Xbox Experiences principal program manager, spilled the beans about the next-gen OS in an official blog post (opens in new tab), and it tells us more about what to expect from the Xbox Series X.
As previously reported, the Home screen promises to load 50% faster and you'll be welcomed by "refined" animations. We also know that the Xbox Guide landing page has had an overhaul. It's easier to read and users can also customise the tabs, which should make it a doddle to keep track of messages, invites and parties.
There's also a new Activity Feed, which appears to be a response to the rise of Twitch and other online gaming platforms. The updated Feed is designed to do a better job of showcasing the gaming community and game developers' latest content.
As Hildebrandt puts it: “We want the focus to be on the content being shared and highlight the awesome screenshots, videoclips and posts players create.”
The August 2020 update also contains some smaller tweaks that have been requested by gamers – most notably the ability to control the volume of individual party members. At last, you can dial down gamers who get a bit too shouty.
And, as Xbox spreads its wings via Microsoft's xCloud gaming app, there will be lots more integration between consoles, PCs, smartphones and Android devices. You can expect to stay logged into a game across multiple devices – just the one, though, to ensure your progress syncs properly.
The new Xbox Dashboard will be available for all Xbox consoles owners this week, while other features will be updated ahead of the launch of the Xbox Series X in November. It's all part of 'unifying' the Xbox experience before the next-gen console drops.