The Xbox One's First 2014 Dashboard Update Adds Some Important Stuff

The Xbox One is about to improve in a couple of small but useful ways. The console's first dashboard update, zapping into consoles on Tuesday, February 11, will add a controller battery-level indicator and an interface for managing system storage.

The battery indicator is self-explanatory. You can see it in the screenshot above (we added the red parts, obviously!).

The memory management? That's part of a batch of changes that Microsoft is making to allow Xbox One users to have an easier time dealing with all the digital games, apps and other stuff they might be loading onto their console. We at Kotaku haven't seen these changes, but we have seen an advance copy of a blog post in which Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten explains what's going on. Here's Whitten (emphasis his):

The ability to see and manage your storage space. With this update, you will find it easy to find how much space your content takes up and better manage your content. You can also control your install lineup and more easily manage your download queue. We've separated My Games and My Apps into separate lists, so you can easily create separate queues for both. Now you can pick the order in which you want your content to load and we've added a boot progress indicator so you can better track updates while they load.

Whitten and his team are also promising various "stability and product updates to improve the customer experience, and continuous improvements to the quality of Kinect voice so commands become more fluid and responsive over time." Oh, and USB keyboard support.

All of these updates fit in the category labeled Probably Should Have Had This Stuff At Launch, but three months hasn't exactly been long to suffer without them. With the Xbox 360, Microsoft pioneered the practice of repeatedly updating—and largely improving—its console through firmware updates. They're doing that here and crossing off some of their uncrossed t's. They're not getting to some other problem spots just yet, but that's coming too, according to Whitten.

Whitten says that Microsoft will push another dashboard update on March 4 that will focus on multiplayer and party chat improvements. Party chat has not been reliable on the Xbox One, and has been one of the more complained-about features.

Microsoft is trying to have all of its multiplayer and chat issues straightened out before the March 11 launch of Titanfall, an Xbox One/360/PC exclusive (read: not PlayStation and Nintendo) that the console giant and the game's creators at Respawn Entertainment hope will be even half as big as the Respawn crew's last creation: Modern Warfare.

To contact the author of this post, write to stephentotilo@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo.