The biggest update to hit the Xbox One is just a few short weeks from arriving.
On November 12, the Xbox One will get what’s called the “New Xbox One Experience,” which updates the console to Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 10, and adds the ability to play a smattering of Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One (thrilling!).
The news was announced on Monday evening during a Microsoft-hosted “Halo 5: Guardians” streaming event:
That’s Microsoft’s public facing Xbox rep Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb confirming the news, in abridged format, straight from the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer (referenced as @XboxP3, per his Twitter handle).
So! What does this mean for you and your Xbox One? A few things:
- Backwards compatiblity with some of your favourite Xbox 360 games (“over 100 titles slated for this fall, and hundreds more in the months to come”)! This is starting with mostly Microsoft-published games, but Microsoft has been signing up third-party publishers as well. Alongside “Fallout 4” in November, “Fallout 3” will become playable on the Xbox One. Just like magic!
- Cortana, the speaking AI assistant, is joining the Xbox One. You can ask her to search the web, or if your friend is online, or what the next quest is in the game you’re playing, or a whole variety of other questions. Think of Cortana as Siri, but for your Xbox One (and hopefully more useful). You’ll need your Kinect hooked up to use Cortana’s functionality.
- A far more streamlined Xbox One user interface, that’s both sped up and more seamless in how you use it. This is maybe the most significant change, as it both impacts the way you navigate your console and the speed at which you’re able to do so. The Xbox One user interface has been sluggish and cluttered for years, and this is Microsoft’s first substantial attempt to fix that.
Pretty meaty changes, right? And the addition of Windows 10 means all of Microsoft’s devices — PCs, Surface tablets, the new Surface Book laptop, Windows Phones and the Xbox One — are running on a single, unified platform. And that lays the foundation for ever-more meaningful changes straight from the land of Windows 10 on Xbox One, whatever that may mean.
Take a final look around your current Xbox One interface and get ready to say goodbye — tremendous change is nigh.