Fri. Mar 24th, 2023

The new Xbox One UI, shown at E3.
Enlarge / The new Xbox One UI, shown at E3.

At Gamescom in Cologne today, Microsoft announced that the new Windows 10-based Xbox One user interface first shown at E3 in June will be rolling out to Xbox One systems in November.

The new interface is designed to get into games faster and interact with your friends more easily. The update also includes Cortana support. For example, it allows players to ask if certain friends are online, invite them to games, and send messages, all without interrupting their game.

This update also includes backward compatibility with Xbox 360. The November release is currently in preview and supports playing a limited (but certainly growing) selection of Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One console for everyone.

Depending on whether you believe the Microsoft Store or Amazon, a Chatpad accessory for the Xbox One controller will release on October 27 or November 10. Like its Xbox 360 predecessor, this accessory adds a rinky-dink little keyboard to the controller to make it much easier to write messages and enter passwords. The keyboard also includes a 3.5mm jack for headsets and volume/mute buttons to control them. While the current generation of Xbox One controllers (including the forthcoming Xbox Elite controller) have native 3.5mm jacks, first-generation controllers required an accessory to support regular 3.5mm headsets. The keyboard should work with all first party Xbox One controllers and is also supported in Windows 10.

Microsoft also teased some of the features that will be added to the Xbox One’s system software next year: full DVR support. Microsoft released a USB TV Tuner accessory for European Xbox One owners last year and followed up with a US version earlier this year. While both of these support DVR-style live TV breaks of up to 30 minutes, they do not currently offer full DVR functionality. The lifting of this restriction makes sense and has been rumored for several months. It’s now confirmed to be coming.

To update: It has been clarified that the DVR capability will only be available for over-the-air broadcasts. Cable boxes (both network and HDMI pass-through) need not apply.

The DVR capability will also link to the Xbox app for Windows 10; shows recorded on the Xbox can be viewed on all PCs connected to the Xbox via the Xbox app. The Xbox app also supports scheduling recording shows, so the Xbox can be set up to record shows even when you’re away from home.

By akfire1

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