I was lucky enough to be selected for the Xbox One update trialling club, when they started it earlier this year. Since being selected, the majority of updates have been relatively uneventful, and most were sorting out background issues that made little aesthetic differences. Thankfully, the November update is going to be changing all of that. For the past day or so, I’ve been getting to grips with this new update, mostly introduced to make my Xbox One a little more unique. Here’s what I think of it so far.
The Xbox One dashboard has always looked relatively crisp… well, I mean it has never really been ugly. That being said, it has lacked any real personalisation (other than changing the colour theme), so I’m over the moon that the new update allows you to select a background. Microsoft have changed up the usual background selection process by allowing you to use the achievement pictures instead of the conventional ‘themes’ that were on the 360. I really like this, mainly because it will give people the opportunity to select thousands of different (free) backgrounds, all of which have been earned through dedication to a game. I’ve picked an achievement from Ryse: Son of Rome, which is basically an old Roman stone wall carving, because I liked the colour contrast between the blue of my theme and the grey / white of the carving… plus I’m a massive history geek.
The next big change is the introduction of something new, the ‘Showcase’. This is basically a slideshow of six achievement images and/or your favourite game clips which aims to help visitors to your profile understand a little more about you and your accomplishments on the One. You can also put a caption to the achievements and clips to help explain to people why you picked them. I chose the achievement for completing Outlast, because it was such a terrifying game. I also picked the achievement for defeating the ‘Black Hand’ on Shadow of Mordor, because it was the least climactic boss fight in the history of boss fights. I then went for a game-clip that I recorded of an absolute long-distance screamer of a goal on FIFA 15 Pro-Clubs. Also in the mix is the achievement for killing a Hunter, Titan and Warlock, all in a row, at least 4 seconds apart from each other, without dying; that one was picked for obvious reasons. Second from last I went for the first game-clip I ever recorded, from Ryse. Finally, I went for a hard-earned achievement from Ryse, for deflecting an enemy’s arrow with my shield, killing another enemy with said arrow. Overall, I love the introduction of a showcase of achievements and clips, mainly because I like the opportunity to gloat about my accomplishments… but maybe that’s just me.
One of the more interesting additions is the interconnectivity with Twitter, which actually quite excites me… because I’m sad… but also because it’ll make running this website’s social media a lot easier! That’s because us Xbox One owners, (Romnomnom and myself), will be able to Tweet our video-clips as soon as we’ve made them. Obviously, we’ll still need to upload them to YouTube at some point, and share them on Facebook, but still, we’ll now be able to keep our Twitter accounts constantly updated with new video-clips. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m assuming that we’ll be able to share other people’s video-clips too. I hope that we can.
Still running with the personalisation theme, the update also brings back the classic bios from the Xbox 360. This really goes hand in hand with the Showcase, because I think gaming these days is all about creating a personality for yourself. If I’m playing with or against randomers, I like to check out their profile to see what games they play, or how long they’ve been on Xbox Live, so I’m really looking forward to reading their bios and looking at their Showcase, too. I think it all works together to help build a profile that is unique to that person, and I think that’s a great thing.
There are a few other changes, like the integration of Twitter trending TV Shows to the One Guide, as well as the introduction of trending algorithms to the One Guide to show you which shows are in the top 20 watched by other Xbox users and your friends. These are minor changes for me, just because I tend not to use the One Guide. Something else that I’m very much excited about is the availability of the True Achievement app on the Xbox One app store. I’m always looking for Achievement guides for some games, so this will really go down a treat. It’s also free, happy days!
In all, I absolutely love this update. My Xbox One has never looked so pretty! It’s nice to get some more personalisation options, and I can’t wait to start sharing my video-clips on Twitter. One word of warning, though. Your bios from the Xbox 360 are transferred across to your Xbox One profiles (I can already read them on non-participating profiles, even though you haven’t downloaded the update), so you might want to make sure you edit it as soon as you download the update!