The number of times Microsoft have completely overhauled the Xbox One system software design and layout is truly impressive – less impressive is the fact that they’ve needed to, though – and the next revamp is another big step forward for usability.
Going out now to Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Ring, it’s all about letting you customise the layout, adding further social cues and providing suggestions based on what you like playing. The main screen you’ll encounter has a set layout, with a handful of recently played games, an offer or two you might be interested in, but scroll down and you get to user customisable ‘content blocks’.
These can be everything from tracking a particular friend’s activity feed, a particular game’s news feed, pinned games, and so on. It’s entirely up to you, so you can completely eschew the social side of things and just have Home and pinned games, if you like.
The experience should be sped up, with the guide that overlays the side of the screen now featuring tabs for sections like achievements, friends, and navigation is improved with bumpers letting you switch between them quickly.
Over on Windows 10, they’re working to improve the Game Bar, which now lets you enable or disable Game Mode while in game. Mixer broadcasting now has more audio options, as well.
All of this is in testing right now, with a planned wide release later this year, presumably just in time for the Xbox One X launch in November.