Xbox is Making Major Changes to the Dashboard

As part of a months-long series of experiments, Microsoft announced some big changes coming to the new Xbox Home Experience going forward. The news comes in a blog post from the Xbox development team, which thanked players who participated in experiments with its console.

In April’s Xbox console update, a new gallery-style search interface was added, along with features to help adjust how much battery your Xbox console uses. From the console’s home page, players can press the Y button or tap the search icon and navigate to the magnifying glass icon at the top of the dashboard to start a search. Search categories can also be filtered using the LB and RB buttons, including filters for viewing content installed on Xbox consoles. Additionally, as part of Microsoft’s move to increase carbon awareness on Xbox consoles, the April update includes the option for players to set active hours to save battery and money when the console is in sleep mode. With feedback from Microsoft on the cutting edge of the update, this will hopefully extend to the Xbox Home Experience, which has been in beta for months.

Months of experimentation with the Xbox Home console is being paused to allow developers to prepare for the upcoming release of a larger update, according to a blog post by Xbox senior product manager lead Ivy Krislov. The experimentation began last fall, with Xbox Insiders testing the new Xbox Home Experience in the Alpha and Alpha-Skip rings. Insiders using the experimental version of the dashboard will see their interface restored to its original state, but the settings used to update the dashboard will be saved for future use.

According to Krislov, the developers heard feedback from testers that the appearance of the Xbox dashboard felt cluttered, especially at the top of the screen. In short, it makes players feel like they can’t fully enjoy the backgrounds and wallpapers they want. Krislov added that the team wanted to strike a balance between the look and functionality of the dashboard, while also considering accessibility and the needs of different players. It remains to be seen how much that will change in future updates, as long as those updates hit both regular users and Xbox Insiders.

While Microsoft has stayed in the public eye with its impending acquisition of Activision Blizzard, that hasn’t stopped it from continuing to improve the Xbox console experience for gamers. Only time will tell what this acquisition means for its players.

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