New Xbox, New Xbox Experience

The Xbox One update 1406 has just been released to beta previewers and it looks to be one of the more significant, outward facing updates yet.

 What’s in a Name?

In another move that shows that Sony’s Playstation 4 is heading in the right direction, one of the first inclusions in the update is the ability for users to use their real names online.  Soon the days of wondering who RighteousBong69 is will soon be over. That is, if he chooses. Users will have the option of providing their real name to all of their friends, none of their friends, or any combination therein. No, you cannot choose just your Favorites as of yet but it’s already been suggested to Microsoft so it may make it’s way into the update by the time it’s released to the public. Additionally, the user will have the option to allow friends of friends to see your real name in the hopes that friends once-removed will see it and add you.


All the Space You Need

FINALLY…external storage has come to the Xbox One! External storage support, promised before launch, has finally made it to the console. External hard drives must be USB 3.0 or higher and must have a capacity of 256 GB or higher. No word on if there is a maximum storage threshold. Also note that there is only one USB 3.0 port on the current Xbox One (the one on the left hand side of the console, next to the optical drive) so there won’t be an option to attach multiple HDDs simultaneously.


 We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Kinect 

There will also be some changes that clearly had the new Kinect-less Xbox One in mind.  Now in the settings is an option to instantly sign one of the local users by default, similar to the Xbox 360.  This replaces the bio-metric sign in functionality provided via Kinect. Additionally, the Pins section has received a modest tweak, limiting the number of tiles from infinite to 24 tiles, or a screen’s worth. Two rows of 8 tiles, set as you choose. The third row has 7 apps/games with the last tile being a helpful reminder that your additional tiels have not disappeared but can be accessed and/or added to the screen’s worth of pins using the Xbox One’s Smartglass app. Games and apps can still be accessed using the My Games & Apps tile at the home screen.


But Wait, There’s More!

The other noteworthy feature is the to determine how the Xbox handles your A/V components when turning the Xbox off and on. This option existed previous to this update but the user is a given a little more control in the form of individual options for turning each component off or on independent of each other. This move seems to have been made with the understanding that users may not be using the Xbox One as the living room entertainment hub that Microsoft had forecasted it to be.

There you have it. New update. New Xbox experience. Expect to this update to roll out to all users sometime on or around June 9th to take advantage of the new $399 Xbox One going on sale that day.

Are you excited for the changes? Are you a beta preview tester & have an experience that you’d like to share?  Please let us know in the comments below.



Cicero Holmes

Cicero is an avid gamer and sports fan masochist of the New York Islanders and New York Knicks. You can follow his poor life choices on twitter @StubbyStan.

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