With the release of the Xbox Series X drawing closer, Microsoft has offered a preview of what players can expect from the new gaming console, letting would-be buyers in on what the console will look like when it's booted up. The new Xbox user interface is sightly different from what you may be used to in the past, but it also shares some familiar elements with previous UIs.
In a new official Xbox Wire post, Microsoft delves into the New Xbox Experience user interface, which the company attests should feel "inviting and familiar," whether you opt to play on the couch via console, desktop, or your Android device by way of cloud gaming through Project xCloud. Overall, Microsoft says the colorful new redesign is meant to be faster as well as "more approachable and visually appealing."
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The new UI will be available all across the Xbox ecosystem, including Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass on PC, and Xbox mobile apps. Some changes involve screen elements that are designed to be easier to read and understand at a glance with more legible text, a new illustration style, fonts, and different tile shapes. Most of the UI will feature similar layouts, but navigating aims to be peppier and "more focused," in Microsoft’s words, with quick and simple ways to seek assistance on gaming questions when needed.
There's more of a focus on speed with the new UI as well, as both Xbox Velocity Architecture and Quick Resume technology help to launch your games quicker than ever. According to Microsoft, the Home screen is set to load more than 50% faster when you first boot up your system, and almost 30% faster if you return to the Home screen from a game.
These augments have been optimized to use 40% less memory than what was necessary before. Given that the Xbox menu has always been a bit sluggish throughout its multiple iterations, this should be a boon for players.
The new Microsoft Store has been given a speed boost as well across Xbox devices. Microsoft states that app launch time has been cut to "about two seconds," with updated navigation to improve browsing and searching for what you want, as well as improved searching between memberships you have and sales currently going on.
For players who prefer to take their Xbox friends list on the go, there's a new Xbox mobile app coming as well. Microsoft promises better integration with your phone in addition to "social experiences on Xbox." You can share game clips and updates from your console and they'll automatically show up on your mobile app so you can share across social media, for instance, as well as manage and send messages and launch parties.
Some of these updates are set to roll out in the "coming weeks," but the real party happens in November, when the Xbox Series X is slated for release. That’s as specific a release date as we have right now, though Microsoft it plans to "celebrate a milestone" in the Xbox user experience journey alongside the new console's debut.
We’re still waiting on confirmation on a price, release date, any potential launch bundles, and a slew of other additional information about the Xbox Series X. Here’s hoping Microsoft goes into additional detail about the console in the coming weeks as well.
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Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.