Cast your mind back to the moment Microsoft first unveiled the Xbox One and you’ll remember the company’s persistent, seemingly unyielding stance regarding the “all-in-one entertainment box” label. It’s no secret that the current-gen hardware is jam-packed with a myriad of multimedia features, with support for TV integration and other non-gaming features. That somewhat eschewed direction resulted in an overly cluttered user interface, and fans will be pleased to note that Microsoft will be releasing a streamlined, simplified menu system for the hardware this fall.
Taking many cues from the company’s soon-to-be-released Windows 10 operating system, the overhaul is reminiscent on the Xbox app located on the OS itself, dropping the tiled-based interface in favor of a more elegant, easy-on-the-eye set-up. All of this is an effort to improve speed and performance on the Xbox One itself, particularly when it comes to navigating through the console’s deep menu system. Early adopters will remember just how laborious it was finding some of the console’s bells and whistles, which were boxed away in separate app folders rather frustratingly.
Gone is the emphasis on Kinect, too, with one of the most exciting additions to the Xbox One UI arriving in the form of Cortana. Microsoft’s AI assistant was demonstrated during a presentation by the company’s Larry Hryb, where he was able to start a new party chat and invite a friend all without lifting a finger. Whether you will need Kinect to access this feature, or if you can bark orders through a standard headset, remains unclear at this time.
Expect this Xbox One US overhaul to arrive some time in the fall. For now, let us know what you make of the redesign using the comments below.