Xbox consoles will be getting a new user interface next year, with Microsoft now testing a refreshed menu. Yet still, 17 years later, it’s not as fast or as practical as the Xbox 360's “blades.”
It’s not a drastic overhaul; the current interface features rows of tiles that the user scrolls through, some of them games, others links to stores or menus, while the revised interface offers much the same experience, just with a bit more colour.
Here’s the current interface, which itself isn’t too much of a departure from 2013's Xbox One menu:
And here, via The Verge, is Microsoft’s latest attempt:
As you can see, the basic principle remains the same. There’s a bunch of squares you can click on, some of them being the last games you played, others being links to important menus, others still being hubs for information (like the “trending” one for Forza).
The Verge reports that “a random subset of Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring will get access to some of the Xbox Home experiments this week,” but it’s important to note that everything you’re seeing here is in testing and in testing for a reason. That feedback from users between now and 2023 will help shape what the interface actually looks like when it’s rolled out to everyone.
Ivy Krislov, senior product manager lead of Xbox experiences, told The Verge:
We know the Xbox homepage is where our gamers spend the most time, and it’s a space that’s very personal. We also know we can always be listening and learning how we can do better here while keeping your experience fast and familiar. With that, we’re kicking off a multi-month series of experiments to learn how to create a more personalized home screen experience and address some of the top trends and fan requests.
If you’re wondering whether this applies just to the Xbox Series X|S or to the Xbox One as well, we’ve asked Microsoft for clarification and will update if we hear back.
UPDATE September 13, 3:30am ET: OK, yes, Microsoft tells Kotaku it’s for both Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One.