Remember Xbox 360’s ‘Blade’ dashboard? It didn’t age well in the looks department, but I’ll never forget the ‘whoosh’ sound. Sadly, the ‘Blade’ wouldn’t last forever. The folks responsible for the Xbox dashboard are a restless bunch. They tinkered with it on Xbox 360, and the tradition continues even more so on Xbox One.
The good news is the updates on Xbox One were desperately needed. Speed was one of my biggest issues with it. That was fixed in the last big update. But, the holiday season is approaching, and that means new features and functions are in order.
The big change coming this Fall is called “content blocks.” We get to customize the home page now. Before, that was limited to pretty much just “Pins.” With “content blocks,” you get much more control. Add friends, games, or apps.
Another big change is guide navigation. The new guide has the same pop-up box, but the options are displayed across the top instead of on the left. It’s a cleaner look, plus it lets you use the bumpers to tab through the different options. It looks good. But more importantly, looks snappy.
And that continues to be one of the Xbox team’s biggest focuses. Speed. The original Xbox One dashboard was only good for giving me a headache. But the speed improvements over the past couple of updates have helped big time.
This new update is part of a design system dubbed ‘Microsoft Fluent Design.’ A blog post describes it:
“The look, feel, and movement of the dashboard has been updated to focus on speed, customization and expression – for you.”
You had me at ‘speed,’ Microsoft.
Windows 10 is also getting in on the ‘Fluent Design’ action. The Game Bar is getting an update to make it easier to enable or disable Game Mode by game. That’s cool, but I’m digging the new white color scheme. Looks slick.
As for a release date on the new dashboard? A select few Xbox Insiders can try it out today. Rollout to the rest of the Xbox Insider community will happen soon after. No word on an official release date besides “later this year.”
I’m not sure how I feel about the “content blocks” yet, but I do like the update to the guide navigation. Hey, as long as it’s easy to use and quick, it’s good enough for me.