As we scoot ever-closer to the November launch of the Xbox Series X, Microsoft is highlighting some upcoming changes to its “Xbox Experience” interface. Those improvements will start to roll out to the Xbox One as well in the coming weeks, Microsoft says, before the company plans to “celebrate a milestone in our user experience journey alongside the launch of Xbox Series X” in November.
Speed is a big focus of this coming round of improvements. Microsoft says the familiar Home screen will now load over 50% faster when the Xbox One boots up and nearly 30% faster when returning from a game. That comes on top of improvements to the Xbox One app store interface, which now loads in just over two seconds after an update last month.
The new menu will also have a 40 percent smaller memory footprint, Microsoft says, to “maximize the console horsepower available to games.” That echoes improvements to the system’s GPU bandwidth allocation from way back in 2014 which gave game developers more processing power originally dedicated to the background system menu.
Visual changes to the interface are generally a little more subtle, as you can see in the above gallery. Microsoft says the new interface will mean that “text is more readable, elements on screen are easier to understand at a glance, and accomplishing your tasks is faster than ever. This includes tile shape, fonts, an updated illustration style, and more.”
Microsoft is also improving the Xbox mobile app’s integration with PC and console games. When you capture a clip on your console, for instance, it will be automatically sent to your mobile app, where you can add text to a social media update without having to fight with your TV’s on-screen keyboard. The mobile app will also consolidate notifications across the PC and console, Microsoft says.
The UI changes being teased around the release of the Xbox Series X definitely pale in comparison to the “clean slate” UI overhaul Microsoft rolled out with the Xbox One in 2013. Then again, the Series X itself is being positioned as more of an evolutionary upgrade from the Xbox One, with most games working across both consoles for the foreseeable future. Still, it’s odd to see an entirely new console with a system menu that looks more or less identical to that on the console it’s replacing.
Listing image by Microsoft / YouTube