Microsoft has revealed something that users of their Xbox One console have been longing to hear for a while now: a brand new completely re-designed user interface, which includes a new Home design, much faster navigation, a new Community section, a quick-menu system, and Cortana from the Halo franchise to help you with what you need.
You can see a six-minute-long video walkthrough of the new user interface, which is planned to arrive this holiday season, below.
I’m not someone who really gets involved in the whole “console wars” thing, instead opting to own both consoles so I don’t miss out on any exclusives. For the most recent consoles I decided to start with the Xbox One, due to a couple of reasons: one being the simple fact that more people I knew were also going this route; and the other being Microsoft’s too-good-to-pass-up Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle for the much more affordable $350 price tag. I’m still saving up for the PlayStation 4 (and eventually maybe even my own PC setup like all the cool kids have), but for now it’s Xbox One and the pile of Xbox 360 and PS3 games I still have to play or finish.
For the most part my Xbox One experience has been fine, functional. But there are two major issues that really got under my skin as I first started figuring out how this strange and new machine worked compared to my comfortable and familiar 360.
The first was the realization that Microsoft immediately steals over 130GB of the 500GB you paid for just to run their operating system. Not a pleasant discovery, especially with games hitting 30GB, 40GB, 50GB, and larger these days. The other was the user interface. I adored the Xbox 360 user interface, everything was smooth and easy to navigate. For the Xbox One, it was like navigating a maze trying to figure out where everything was. Not to mention trying to close or keep organized all the games and apps you’re using that just love to re-open if you push the B button one time too many. Something just wasn’t working, and owners of the system made this known.
Thankfully Microsoft took notice and has this re-design to offer. We can only hope it works much better than the current setup. Now can we bring our Xbox 360 avatars back into the game? I’m not one to spend a ton of money on avatar gear and items, but bringing out my Tyrannosaurus Rex pet or AWESOM-O companion and seeing friends’ avatars before jumping into whatever game I was playing was an oddly enjoyable little pre-game activity. Far better than the random, boring pictures we have now.
What do you think? Is this a much better user interface design for the Xbox One?