Microsoft’s Xbox One has spent no time idly sitting on its ass, with the company bringing in a lot of feature and stability updates to improve the console’s performance and delivering on some of the promised features that Microsoft sold to prospective customers over the course of last year. The June System Update brings in a lot of small and big changes to the console’s operating system and one of them addresses an issue that initially made the console less attractive than Sony’s Playstation 4 – external storage support.
Xbox Live’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb introduced the feature changes in the June update in a blog post on his personal website. The layout and content of the blog post is very different from previous ones because there’s no mention this time of how the console is doing, or how good the sales are, how many hours of gaming are being done or how much Titanfall is kicking ass.
This suggests that Microsoft is changing tack in how they approach marketing for the console now that they’ve committed to unbundling Kinect in a cheaper SKU, another of their recent turnaround decisions to combat what some websites claim appears to be poor sales for the platform worldwide. All of this is actually a good thing because despite the performance differences between the two consoles, we need a third option in the home console market and the new Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, is making changes at an absurd speed to keep things fresh and interesting.
The big changes that were highlighted are the ones that Xbox One owners (the few of you in South Africa for now, at least) can look forward to. Check them out:
Easily Increase Games Capacity with External Storage Support
- Plug in your 256 GB or larger USB 3.0 external hard drive and once formatted, copy and move games, apps and game add-ons to increase your storage capacity.
- Take your content to a friend’s house and get straight into a game directly from an external drive. You’ll need to sign in to Xbox Live if you’ve purchased your content digitally or insert a disc to verify your game ownership when you take your content on the road.
- You can also choose to copy full games and all of the associated content in one easy step.
Real Names Makes it Easier to Identify Friends
- You can recognize people on your friends list and more easily discover people you already know who are on Xbox Live.
- You’ll be able to share with all your friends, a subset of your choosing, friends of friends or none at all.
- Your name doesn’t show up in games, and you can change your settings any time from your profile and when adding new friends.
SmartGlass Provides Access to full OneGuide and Universal Remote Control, Pin Reordering and More
- In supported markets you can view all of your TV listings on your SmartGlass device and set and view your favorite channels and app channels on your smart phone, tablet or PC.
- With the Universal Remote Control, you can also switch channels, set new recordings and select and control recorded content from your DVR.
- With the touch of your finger you can easily organize your pins in categories or favorites based on your preferences and have those changes refresh to your console.
Expanded TV and OneGuide Soon Available in More Markets
- TV and OneGuide features we began sharing with select Xbox Live members in April will be available in June to everyone in Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
- Additional features in these markets include Kinect voice commands for controlling your set-top box and other AV equipment.
New Gold Membership Benefits, Access to Apps for All and More
- You’ll find a new hub in Xbox One for exploring all of the great benefits available to Xbox Live Gold members, including Games with Gold and Deals with Gold.
- With the Xbox Live Gold changes announced last week, shortly after the Xbox One system update becomes available in June all Xbox Live members will be able to access popular gaming and entertainment apps without a Gold membership.
Finally, we’ve made it possible for you to choose an account for automatic sign-in on your Xbox One.
Source: Major Nelson