Before you start reading the rest of this article, I’ll point out that I’ve already written an article looking at the aspects of the February update that I really enjoyed. You can find that by following this link.
If all the information you have about the February update came from the information video on the Xbox One’s dash, you’d be forgiven for not knowing the full extent of the update’s features. The video mentions the controller update, but not what it does. It also mentions Game Hub in quite a bit of detail. There are some omissions from the video, however. Surprisingly enough, these omissions kind of do very little for the console, so I thought I’d highlight these changes so that you can make the best of the new Xbox One update.
The best pointless changes are those to party chat. Party chat has been the bane of my life for the past year or so on the Xbox One. It seems to work about fifty percent of the time, and when it doesn’t work, it’s incredibly frustrating. It’s usually nothing that a hard reset can’t fix, but I shouldn’t have to reset my console every few days. The minute changes are both aesthetic and functional. Aesthetically, we are now given new icons for your connection status to the party, and the status of others joining the party too. The clock means that you’re currently connecting, the blue ‘Sqwarker Ring’ icon means that you’re connected, and the white cross means that something is stopping you from connecting. The reason that these are pointless changes is because they don’t actually do anything. If I can’t hear my friends, and my friends can’t hear me, I kind of know that I’m not properly connected. It’s pretty obvious. The new icons do nothing to change the fact that I can’t connect, they just reiterate the fact that the party function, at times, sucks balls.
Another few changes to the party chat function mean that you are now more likely to connect with those who have a strict or moderate NAT setting… apparently. This was one of the most frustrating aspects of the party system for me and my friends. I’d like to say that it has worked… but it really hasn’t. Sine the update, I’ve had to hard reset my Xbox One at least four times so that I can chat with my friends. One time I even had to do it mid party chat – that one has never happened to me before. In all honesty, all these changes have done is make it more obvious as to why it isn’t working. Sure, it’s nice to know why we’re not connected, but it still doesn’t change that fact that you’re not connected. Fix the parties, leave the icons for when it’s working!
There is also a pointless update on the controller. Once you’ve updated the controller, it will now take two seconds to connect your controller to the Xbox One, rather than the usual four. Two whole seconds! To be perfectly honest, I’ve not even noticed that the controller takes that long to connect. Is waiting an extra two seconds that much of a hassle? Have people really been complaining about that enough to Microsoft to warrant them making this update? Surly their time can be spent on better things.
I complain, but in all the February update has been pretty good. I love the new background options, and the Game Hub is quite exciting – and I can really see the potential. I just wish that they would stop beating around the bush and fix the things that need fixing, before doing the ‘little’ things. The Xbox One has a load of potential and if they can iron out the basic creases, like the party chat and general connection issues, I’m more than looking forward to what Microsoft have planned for the future!
What do you think of the update? Do you like the changes overall? Or do you even like the changes that I have deemed pointless? Do you wish Microsoft would change other things too? Let me know in the comments below!