Xbox One Creators Update: New features and improvements detailed

Xbox One Creators Update.jpg

A week ago, Mike Ybarra, the head of Platform Engineering for Xbox showed a sneak peak of the new Xbox guide and User Interface (UI) set to release with the Creators Update in “Spring 2017”. The update will increase performance, user multitasking and make streaming easier than ever before. In a post on by Scott Henson, the Xbox Partner Group Program Manager, eight features and improvements coming with the Creators Update have been detailed.  

Before we get to the eight features, you should know that the Creators Update for Xbox One and Windows 10 is massive. Mr. Henson explains that: “The Creators Update is packed full of new features for gamers who play on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs – in fact, we’re targeting hundreds of improvements across the board, noticeable by gamers and under the hood.”  

Eight Xbox One features and improvements  

The eight improvements and features Microsoft details below is only the beginning, but they already sound fantastic and is sure to improve day-to-day activities. You can read all about the features and improvements below.    

An updated look at Home: Microsoft’s goal is to increase system performance and simplify the Xbox UI, which logically starts with the Home screen. Mr. Henson explains: “To do that, we’ve optimized for speed and are surfacing to you the most valuable content for your games. You’ll notice the main tile for what you’re currently playing has changed. Now, you’ll see a smaller icon for the game and a few options to dive deeper into the Game Hub, interact with your Club or LFG for that game, view your Achievements and more. The updated Home also celebrates the game you’re currently playing with hero art in the background when you’re not using a custom background.”

Xbox One new home screen.jpg

A faster and more intuitive Guide: As I mentioned at the start of the article, Microsoft gave a sneak peak of the updated Guide last week. Now, Mr. Henson has explained how the new guide will work. “With one press of the Xbox button on your controller, you can pull up the newly enhanced Guide as an overlay on the left side of your screen, no matter what you’re doing. With the Guide, we’ve added new features and functionality. You’ll notice that there’s a new start page. This page is designed to get you to the content you care about most, including your games and apps, Home, Store, your recently played games and apps and your top Pins. It also features quick access to your media controls when playing background music.”      

Improving system updates: Worrying about system updates will be a thing of the past. Microsoft’s goal is to make it “clearer when a system update is available” and will update the interface so the “steps are easy to understand”. Further, no matter which power mode you choose, Microsoft will “enable every Xbox One owner to keep their console, games and apps up to date.”    

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Cortana gaming enhancements: “There are a series of new Cortana updates to make your Xbox One smarter. In this update, you can set reminders and alarms so you don’t miss gaming sessions. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing more Cortana updates to enhance your gaming experience even more as well as continued performance and reliability updates.”  

Making the Xbox One accessible more to everyone: Mr. Henson notes that an area that is very important to the team is that the Xbox One can be used by everyone. They are adding a new feature called Copilot, which “allows two controllers to act as one”. The feature will “help make Xbox One more inviting to new gamers needing assistance, more fun by adding cooperative controls for any game and easier for players who need unique configurations to play — whether that is with hands apart, hand and chin, hand and foot, etc.” Further, Microsoft is making enhancements to the Magnifier and Narrator feature and is giving users with a standard Xbox One controller more control over rumble and audio output settings, a feature previously reserved for Xbox One Elite Controllers.  

New way to multitask: The updated Guide and Home screen is sure to already improve multitasking by quite a lot. However, Microsoft is further increasing users’ multitasking capabilities on their Xbox One by “evolving” the multitasking system. Mr. Henson explains: “To simplify discoverability and to make it much quicker to get to the things you care about most, our multitasking features will also be designed to work well with the new Guide. In addition to quick access to music, screen shots and GameDVR will be one button press away. You can bring up Guide and press “X” or “Y” on your controller to record your favorite gaming moments. We’ve also added a new achievement tracker which allows you to track your favorite achievements and play at the same time. The new Guide is also where you will be able to broadcast instantly to Beam when we roll that out to Insiders in the next couple of weeks.”  

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New spatial audio output settings for developers: “To enable more immersive experiences for Xbox One, we have added a number of audio output features in Settings. If you are a developer on Xbox One, the new settings will allow you to add Dolby Atmos for Home Theater, Dolby Atmos for Headphones and Windows HRTF support to your streaming media application or game. For Xbox One owners, hang tight and soon you’ll be able experience even more incredible audio on your console.” 

Blu-ray player bitstream passthrough beta: “The Blu-ray disc player on Xbox One now supports a beta of bitstream passthrough, which allows your receiver to decode audio natively. All bitstream formats are supported, including newer ones like Dolby Atmos.”

Microsoft notes that the Creators Update features above is only the “first series of updates” and mentions that Windows Game Mode, Arena and “plenty more” are on their way. The update is now available to selected Xbox Insider Program members. At the time of writing the release date for the update is still unknown. According to Microsoft, the update will release sometime in “Spring 2017”.

Watch the video below where Xbox’s Larry Hryb and Scott Henson talks about and shows off the new features, then let us know which feature you are most excited about in the comment section.


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