Microsoft on Monday night unveiled a brand-new Xbox One experience, which will be coming to consoles sometime later this year.
Here’s what the new user interface looks like:
The new home screen has a much different look and feel from the current Xbox One home screen, which looks like this:
Now, back to the new Xbox One experience. When you double click the Xbox button on your controller, a panel will slide in from the left side. It will give you options to see your online friends, your notifications, start an Xbox Party, or change your settings on the fly.
You can access these quick options from the home screen, but you can also do this in any game you’re playing.
Back on the main home screen, as you scroll down from the main image you can see all your recently-played games and apps. Continue down further and you’ll see Xbox has moved all your pins from what was once a separate tab to the bottom of the screen, in a section called “Collection.”
In the new Xbox One UI, Microsoft has merged everything about your friends and what’s trending on Xbox Live into a single “Community” tab, which shows you what your friends are playing, popular games right now, and what some of the biggest gamers on Xbox Live are achieving at that very instant.
The most important change, however, is the addition of Cortana thanks to the support of Windows 10. Now, if you say “Hey Cortana,” you can issue all of the typical voice commands like “Xbox record that,” but you can also do much more, like see if people are online, and invite those people to Xbox Parties.
Cortana also understands complex commands, like if you only want to record the last minute or two of gameplay and immediately share it to your activity feed. Currently, those are all separate steps on Xbox One — they’re not hard to do, but they take you out of the gaming experience. Here, you can issue voice commands with Cortana without ever leaving the action.
Microsoft made a ton of other announcements at its E3 presser on Monday, including backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games, new first-party titles coming this year and next, and support for augmented and virtual reality headsets. You can read more about Microsoft’s biggest E3 announcements here.
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