The first major update to Microsoft’s Xbox consoles following the Xbox Series X and Series S release has arrived.
The ‘November 2020 Xbox Console Update’ includes new features like the ability to add a dynamic background with motion and colour, an ‘Auto HDR’ badge to supported games and an ‘Optimized for Xbox Series X/S badge’ on specific titles. Microsoft’s latest video game consoles also now support the Xbox Insider app.
All of these features are only available on Microsoft’s recently released Xbox Series X and Series S.
“This month marked the start of the next generation of console gaming on Xbox with the release of Xbox Series X/S, and Team Xbox is excited to continue bringing new ways to make your experience on Xbox even better. Just like we’ve done on Xbox One, we will continue to periodically release software updates designed to improve your Xbox gaming experience based on your feedback, including both delivering you new features and fixing bugs,” reads a statement from Jonathan Hildebrandt, Microsoft’s principal program manager of Xbox experiences, in a recent blog post regarding the update.
Other new features available across all Xbox consoles include a ‘Game Activity’ tab, the ability to pre-install Game Pass games, the option to add existing family members to a new Xbox console during the setup process and various “bug fixes and performance enhancements.”
As far as updates go, the badge system for optimized and Auto HDR titles is particularly useful if you’re looking for games you already own that take advantage of the Series X’s and Series S’ additional hardware power. I’ve been running an Insider ring of the Xbox Series X’s dashboard for the last few weeks and found this feature very useful when it comes to knowing for sure that I’m running an optimized title on the console.
The new dynamic backgrounds are also pretty cool, especially the ones that feel like a throwback to the classic black and green era of Microsoft’s Xbox branding.
With all this in mind, Microsoft’s Xbox Dashboard is still cumbersome to navigate, especially when compared to the PlayStation 5’s excellent user interface. Hopefully, Microsoft eventually opts to give the operating system’s user interface a more significant overhaul — at least on the Series X and Series S — at some point in the future.
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