Xbox 360's cluttered interface led to Microsoft starting from scratch with Xbox One

When you boot up the Xbox One you'll likely note that it's much more streamlined than the one you're used to on the Xbox 360--and there's a reason for that. Instead of continuing to iterate on the Xbox 360's guide, as Microsoft opted to do for this entire past generation, Microsoft decided it was best to start over when working on the Xbox One.

In a platform demo at the Tokyo Game Show we talked to Albert Penello, Microsoft's Sr. Director of Product Management and Planning, who admitted that the Xbox 360's interface became cluttered as time went on. With the Xbox One, the team began anew, drawing inspiration from Windows 8 and Windows Phone's more simplistic, user-friendly appearance.

Now, you're able to see just about everything with relative ease. The main page looks pretty much as it does now, with a few large icons letting you quickly get into a game, but hitting left or right provides a much different experience. Left will bring you to a customizable screen where you're able to "pin" different games or apps. It changes depending who is logged in, creating a place where you're able to create your own personal dashboard of sorts.

Hitting right drops you right into the Store, but the menu appears significantly more user friendly than the Xbox 360's was. Everything has been simplified, with Games, Movies, Music, and Apps being broken into different sections.

Being simplified is important, as this main page replaces the Xbox 360's "Guide" button. That's right--you're thrown back to the main page when you want to view your friends list or browse Achievements. This is a major change, especially with how synonymous the Guide became with the Xbox 360 experience.

Hollander Cooper

Hollander Cooper was the Lead Features Editor of GamesRadar+ between 2011 and 2014. After that lengthy stint managing GR's editorial calendar he moved behind the curtain and into the video game industry itself, working as social media manager for EA and as a communications lead at Riot Games. Hollander is currently stationed at Apple as an organic social lead for the App Store and Apple Arcade.