A new “Surprise Me” button will be added to the Xbox One’s game library, Microsoft announced yesterday on Twitter. Rolling out first for players in the Xbox One insider testing program, the “Surprise Me” button will allow the indecisive player to select a game randomly from their library to play.
The button doesn’t automatically launch the game, according to testers, so you still have the option of going back and taking another spin or 10 of the roulette wheel until you find the game in your backlog that you didn’t know you wanted to play. Even if you just end up going back to Gears 5 or some other game you’ve played for hundreds of hours already, it can at least be a fun little game of “let’s remember some video games.”
It’ll also be a nice addition for anyone who’s ever recently finished a big game and can’t decide what they’re actually in the mood for. This happens to me often. Should I go back to chipping away at that sprawling role-playing game? Maybe I should take it easy and just grind through the battle pass in my favorite shooter. Or is it finally time for me to dig through that ever-growing back catalog of games which, thanks to the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility, now includes stuff like 2004’s Alien Hominid by the makers of Castle Crashers. Actually:
Xbox Game Pass already has similar shuffle button that randomly selects one of the hundred plus games in its catalog, so it makes sense to expand that to the rest of the player’s game library. Between months of downloadable Games with Gold and the fact that the Xbox One has been out for six years now, there are dozens of games in my library I’ve forgotten about.
This type of shuffle feature has long been common for navigating unwieldy mp3 libraries and streaming playlists. With gaming undergoing many of the same changes thanks to digital and streaming technology, the only surprising thing is that it’s taken so long for a major console maker to adopt something similar.