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The New Xbox One Experience Is Available For Download

The Xbox team at Microsoft is ready to roll out one of its biggest updates to the Xbox One. The New Xbox One Experience is available to download, and it includes a visual upgrade to the interface, backwards compatibility, and improved functionality for existing features.

Ease Of Access And Community Improvements

While playing a game or sitting on the Home screen, you can access a quick guide that contains information on your profile and the status of your friends. You can also use it to quickly change settings, start a party, and answer messages.

There's also a big focus on the online community, as evidenced by the new Community section. Here, you can look at what games your friends are playing and create your own social posts such as screenshots or videos. During big events such as E3, the page will also host livestreams from Xbox staffers on the show floor.

Entertainment And Store

Since its reveal, the Xbox One was presented as more than a gaming console. With the help of various apps and OneGuide, it could be used as an entertainment center to watch live TV or movies on Netflix.

OneGuide aims to be the sole hub of TV and movies on Xbox One. To that end, the update includes a hybrid of live TV listings both from over-the-air channels and, in the future, Sling TV. There's also quick access to various apps such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, with the ability to use picture-in-picture to keep track of two shows at once.

The virtual store includes some improvements as well, most notably in its overall presentation. You can begin by choosing from one of four categories: Games, Movies & TV, Apps, and Music. From there, the choices are split into multiple sub-categories ranging from Top Rated selection, Recommendations, and even a special place for games that are coming soon to the console.

Backwards Compatibility

Perhaps the most anticipated feature was the ability to play certain Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One. Days before the big update, the company released the first 104 Xbox 360 games that you could play on the current console. In addition, multiplayer functionality on these old games are also available as part of the feature.

For a limited time, all Xbox One owners can participate in multiplayer gameplay whether or not they currently have an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

While the New Xbox One Experience is now available for download, backwards compatibility won't be in place until 12pm PST, later today.

Other Improvements

Other features include Avatars, which were a main part of your Xbox 360 profile, but are now included for the Xbox One. Obviously, it has some drastic visual upgrades such as lighting and shading and anti-aliasing features. The result is a modern version of what's considered to be a classic staple of the Xbox 360.

There's also the implementation of remapping button assignments on any controller. Initially, this was supposed to be an exclusive part of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, but the company turned around and opened the feature to the basic controller as well, saving you an extra $150.

Good For Now

The first hint of this upgrade was mentioned at E3 alongside the Xbox Elite Wireless and backwards compatibility news. However, the details didn't surface until September. Obviously, smaller improvements will be made in the next few months, but the timing of this update comes in conjunction with the Xbox One's two-year anniversary. The New Xbox One Experience is a milestone for the console, showing fans how far it has come since its November 22, 2013 launch date.

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Rexly Peñaflorida II is a Contributor at Tom’s Hardware. He writes news on tech and hardware, but mostly focuses on gaming news. As a Chicagoan, he believes that deep dish pizza is real pizza and ketchup should never be on hot dogs. Ever. Also, Portillo’s is amazing.

Follow Rexly Peñaflorida II @Heirdeux. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.

  • 9warloc9
    Worst GUI EVER!!!!
    I can't stand this new interface I want to revert back to the old interface NOW!!! it is so awkward and hard to find basic options I can't stand it!
    who ever approved this for release should be fired then blind folded and shot and hung from the highest tree.
    What a huge mistake :(
    Reply
  • albinofunzo123
    The only reason people might think the new user interface is bad is because it's new.

    People hated Windows 8.1 with a passion because they had no idea how to use it, then as soon as Windows 10 was released, the very same people who complained preached that Windows should have stayed with 8.1.

    The same can be said for Xbox. Switching from the 360 console to the One was a huge change. Even finding the settings was a nightmare but you get used to it. This new UI is exactly the same. Don't knock it until you use it for longer than 5 minutes.
    Reply
  • albinofunzo123
    It's not bad, you're just not used to it yet.
    Reply
  • virtualban
    The only reason people might think the new user interface is bad is because it's new.

    People hated Windows 8.1 with a passion because they had no idea how to use it, then as soon as Windows 10 was released, the very same people who complained preached that Windows should have stayed with 8.1.

    The same can be said for Xbox. Switching from the 360 console to the One was a huge change. Even finding the settings was a nightmare but you get used to it. This new UI is exactly the same. Don't knock it until you use it for longer than 5 minutes.
    I still hate windows 8, 8.1, and 10 interfaces. If you don't like me having an opinion, you don't like my money as a customer.
    Reply
  • soccerplayer88
    Windows 10 with Classic Shell.

    Performance with functionality. Microsoft listens to nobody when it comes to interfaces.
    Reply
  • Adilaris
    It seems the only people complaining are the ones that hate any form of change.
    This is a big improvement and much easier to navigate (and faster) once you play around the menus a bit to familiarize.
    Reply
  • Bros1929
    Microsoft needs to make PC headphone drivers available on the Xbox. They've already made keyboards and mice compatible with things such as browsing the Internet and apps like Netflix, so why not headphones? Sony has had it since day one. Microsoft owns most of the PC operating system market, so how hard should making drivers available be? It really sucks that I can't use my wireless corsair void to even play audio, let alone chat with other people.
    Reply
  • Big Gib
    The XBone finally plays FLAC! albeit at half speed. At least that's something.
    Reply