Your Xbox One will be able to play Xbox 360 games starting this November, but it's not just backwards compatibility that's coming; the "New Xbox One Experience" update will bring (opens in new tab) a host of other new features and improvements that will lead to what Microsoft is calling "a completely re-imagined" console experience. Here's what you can expect, and a short breakdown of what it means:
Windows 10: Your Xbox One is about to become a lot more like your home PC - provided that your PC is running Windows 10, of course. This means a faster operating system that's more connected to your other Windows devices. Right now, you can stream to a Windows 10 PC from your Xbox One, but once Windows 10 is fully integrated, you'll be able to play with your PC-owning friends and some games like Motiga's Gigantic will support cross-buy (meaning you buy it once and get a copy for both systems).
A new Community section: Think of this as your Twitter for Xbox One. Although Xbox One currently includes Activity Feeds of your friends and fellow players, it's not prominently featured in the dashboard. The Community section aims to change that and keep you up-to-date with what's trending on Xbox.
Redesigned Home and streamlined Guide: Right now, it can take a few button clicks and thumbstick wiggles to get where you want to go on Xbox One. A redesigned Home is bringing more stuff to one place and reorganizing the dashboard layout. Game hubs will contain all the information about a specific game you would want to know, rather than taking you through a labyrinth of links and more menus. Ditto for a new version of the Guide, which can be overlaid by double-tapping the Xbox button to quickly access the system's most important features.
While it's somewhat disheartening that it took this long for these improvements to be made, it sounds like Xbox One will be the better for them. Reminds me a lot of when the Xbox 360 changed from its unique-but-frustrating "blades" interface (opens in new tab), eventually making way for what I personally consider to be one of the best dashboard designs in gaming. If the new Xbox One experience can deliver on its promises, I'd be happy to feel a sense of deja vu.
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