New changes to the Xbox control panel have finally been revealed. Last year Xbox announced it had begun a months-long beta test of a new version of the Xbox Home Experience. In months of experimentation, Xbox has taken feedback from Xbox Insiders and has now honed a new, sleeker version of the Xbox Dashboard.
Since the launch of dynamic backgrounds with the Xbox Series X and Series S, many users have felt that the Dashboard was too cluttered to allow their favorite backgrounds to really shine and stand out. For years, Xbox owners have had free access to the gorgeous animated backgrounds of games like Halo Infinite, Grounded, Fallout, Pentiment, and even the most recent Dead Space remake. The Dead Space background in particular has been criticized because its main features near the bottom of the screen are completely obscured by game tiles and advertisements. The latest Redfall background makes up for this a bit, with all the characters displayed on top of the first row of titles. Still, with the Dashboard UI remaining the same during the transition from the Xbox One generation to the launch of the Series X and Series S in 2020, many Xbox gamers feel it’s time to spruce up their home screens, and change is imminent.
Xbox has given us a peek at the future of its home experience with a post on Xbox Wire showing off an updated Dashboard image along with some exciting new features. The most obvious change is the noticeably smaller game cubes, which now sit lower on the screen, giving the background enough room to flourish in the upper half of the dashboard. Another benefit of the smaller block size is the addition of two blocks, increasing the number of game blocks visible on the dashboard from seven to nine.
In addition to adding small icons at the top of the screen for Library, Store, Game Pass and Settings, Xbox is introducing the exciting “Responsive Game Art Feature” which, when enabled, will display artwork from each game Currently hovering over streaming platforms like Netflix or Disney+. It’s unclear if more than one piece of art will pop up per game, but the feature is sure to keep things fresh on the Dashboard for Xbox gamers. Additionally, the “My Games App” header will now display four games, which will keep changing based on games that need to be updated or wish list items that are on sale.
It’s unclear if the controversial Game Pass product and ad rows from the early beta version are still there when players scroll down from this new dashboard. While no timeline was given for when the update will roll out to the public, members of Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha rings will begin previewing the updated home experience this week. With that, it’s not unwise to expect the update to go live sooner rather than later.