Part Four: UI/Interface
It’s no secret that Microsoft is extremely proud of the Windows 8 user interface, so we really shouldn’t be shocked to see a variation of it here. What might shock some gamers though is just how well it works.
The home screen prominently features a main tile that shows the running application and is surrounded by smaller tiles that show some of your recently accessed apps to ensure quick switching. There’s a bar on the right that shows off some featured content too, but outside of that, everything on the main screen is stuff you would be looking for.
One of the selling points of the Xbox One is the console’s ability to multitask. I was able to minimize my Dead Rising 3 game and bring up Skype to take a call just as I would be able to on a PC. Being able to juggle multiple apps simultaneously may seem like such a minor thing, but it became something I grew to rely on fairly often, especially when used in conjunction with the Snap feature.
Snap allows the Xbox One to place certain applications and lock them to the right side of your screen in conjunction with whatever else you’re doing at the time. As the system grows, this is definitely something I imagine myself getting a lot more use out of, but even in the early stages it showed promise. I was able snap my cable box to the side of my screen and watch Aqua Teen Hunger Force while playing through Killer Instinct. This has the potential to be an absolutely killer application of the system, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where it goes.
The downfall to all of this is that every single thing the Xbox does seems to be in an individual app. Calling up my achievements to see what I just unlocked meant backing out of the game momentarily and opening the app as opposed to being able to just being able to bring it up like I did in the 360. It’s a pretty jarring break when you’re trying to play a game and I do hope that its remedied in the future.