I’ve been part of the Xbox One preview initiative since the start. Well, since the first wave, at least. I’ve been able to test custom backgrounds, new social features and an improved party. But I decided to opt-out of this update, mostly because I bottled it. I wasn’t brave enough to take the plunge, and opt-in for the new, improved, all singing, all dancing “New Xbox One Experience”.
Whilst the Xbox One Experience update itself sounded intriguing, the possible drawbacks did not. I’m definitely fond of a new UI for the console, as it can suck balls at times. For instance, I often have the issue of tiles not functioning properly (and I know I’m not the only one). Whilst tiles look pretty, it would be awful nice if they actually worked – sure it only takes a few extra seconds to open up an app or game, but it’s frustrating nonetheless. It’s these sorts of things that I’d like cleaned up and a more intuitive, user friendly dashboard will be pretty nice too.
But, despite how much I’d like that new and improved dashboard to arrive as soon as possible, having the beta version of that new dashboard sounds like a bit of a risk to me. Considering that the current dashboard, one that has been tested and updated over the course of two years, doesn’t function as it should at times, I’d imagine that a beta version of the New Xbox One Experience probably wouldn’t be much better… if anything, it would probably be worse. But, you know, that’s the point of this preview programme. It’s there so that Microsoft can iron out the creases before shipping it to the masses – so had I opted to download the update, and it sucked, I wouldn’t have much to complain about.
That’s why I decided against playing with fire, despite how exciting that fire might have seemed, and I’ve stuck with my boring old dashboard. Don’t get me wrong, I do like this current dashboard. It’s just that it could be better. But, as I’ve already established, beta (despite how much it sounds like the word) isn’t necessarily better. I mean, the update has only been out a few hours and people are already having issues. There are a good number of users who have attempted to download the update, but haven’t actually been able to complete it. That’s not everyone, but that’s a good few people, and that could have been me (knowing my luck). When I first trialled the new Party update, I wasn’t able to chat in a party with my friends for near on a week – that was just one small feature, some of these users can’t even connect to Xbox Live! Not for me, I’m afraid.
But, at the same time, I’m very thankful for those people; the ones that have the nards to try these features, despite the risks. Their valuable feedback, about the issues, the bugs, the faults, and the positive aspects too, will help shape the experience for us lot. For the chickens. Well, not all of you are chickens, not all of you had the choice to opt-out. Maybe I wasted my opportunity, maybe it was selfish of me to put my gaming needs over an opportunity to better the experience for others. But, at the same time, I don’t care. I’m happy to wait for the update and let others suffer the flaws to make the experience better for me (and you, possibly).
I’m still signed up to the Preview service though, so I will get to trial the update once the first wave of users have helped sort out the bugs. That’s excitement enough for me. So, whilst I’m incredibly excited for the new update, and I’m looking forward to seeing the direction that Microsoft are taking this console, I’m happy to wait for it. The current UI isn’t that bad, after all.
If you’re currently testing the beta, I’d love to hear from you to see what you think so far! And, as a side note – I’m able to invite people to the Preview Programme, so if that sounds like something you’d want, drop me a friend request, here!
UPDATE: I’ve already had a few people asking me to be invited, so I will quickly clarify the process.
- You’ll have to send me a friend request, as I can only invite friends
- The invite has to be approved by Xbox, so once I’ve sent off the invite from the Xbox Preview app, the ball is then in their court – I have no idea how long it will take to, or if they will even, accept the request.
- This process will not guarantee you access to the New Xbox One Experience Beta, as the beta was only dished out to those who have been active as Preview Members for a number of months, and have filled out regular feedback forms, etc.
Hope that makes sense!