Microsoft have opened up a little bit more about what they have planned for the system software of the Xbox Series X when it launches this November, and how that will be part of a unified visual style and approach across generations and platforms.
As explained previously, Xbox Series X will actually share its system software and user interface with the Xbox One, but that has not meant that it is not changing. Microsoft have loved to tinker with their Xbox One system software over the past seven years (probably a bit too much), and later this year will be evolving that further, bringing in the new Fluent Design that Microsoft have recently settled upon.
According to Microsoft, this will mean that “Text is more readable, elements on screen are easier to understand at a glance, and accomplishing your tasks is faster than ever. This includes tile shape, fonts, an updated illustration style, and more. The overall layout of most of the console pages remains familiar, just faster and more focused.”
The design language and layout of certain elements will be shared across Xbox mobile apps, Xbox Game Pass on PC and Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles.
The Xbox Series X will have some unique advantages though. Within that unified UI and UX, the Home screen will load over 50% faster than on Xbox One, and it will be 30% faster when returning from a game. There’s also Quick Resume that will let you switch between multiple games on the fly.
We can already see this UI in action, with the overhauled Microsoft Store that has been fed out to Xbox One users promising a two second app launch time. On PC, there’s also a new Xbox app that’s currently in beta and has been designed specifically for Xbox Game Pass users.
Other elements have been tested in Microsoft’s Xbox Insider program, such as new illustration styles in the Game Bar welcome screen and light theme in the Family Settings App. Further design tweaks will be demoed for Insiders in coming weeks, leading up to the Xbox Series X launch in November.
So evolution, not revolution is the name of the game at Microsoft. Meanwhile in the land of Sony, we’re still almost completely in the dark as to what the PlayStation 5 system software has in store… Surely they’ll reveal this soon as well?