Since Microsoft first debuted the Xbox One, the company has been keen to show off the physical console and the innovations it’s managed to pack into the device’s Kinect sensor and wireless controller. A new “eyes on” post today, could be the first time Microsoft has anyone outside of the company to use the Xbox One’s software.
In his post on Pocket-Lint, Rik Henderson chronicles his experience using the Xbox One’s software at this year’s GamesCom trade show in Cologne, Germany. Unfortunately, Microsoft didn’t allow him to take pictures or record any video of what he experienced, mostly because it’s actually still in pre-release form.
As the pictures of the dashboard that have been released confirm, Henderson says that the Xbox One’s software isn’t too far from what users get when they start-up an Xbox 360 currently.
“In look it isn’t a million miles away from what the Xbox 360 UI is like at present. In fact, anybody who has used Windows 8 and not reverting to desktop mode will find it all very familiar.”
Of course, that’s on purpose as Microsoft is looking to help users better identify its products by using the same Metro design language from Windows Phone and Windows 8. In addition to the Metro design language, Microsoft also ported over the multitasking features of Windows 8 to Xbox One. During Henderson’s time with the software, he was able to pin the Xbox Music app to his screen while still enjoying a video game.
While not totally new, Henderson got the opportunity to try one of the Kinect enabled features that the company first detailed shortly after the Xbox One press event in late May.
At the time, the company said that the Xbox One’s upgraded Kinect sensor was so integrated that it would actually detect which user was in the room and immediately pull up their profile. In Henderson’s experience, he found that the feature worked as advertised and that up to six gamer tags ,or individual profiles, could be logged in at one time. The Xbox One can even recognize voices and take commands without switching to profiles according to Henderson.
There’s even an IR blaster feature that will allow the Xbox One to take control of any home theater equipment users already have.
Henderson also got the opportunity to explore how Xbox One handles friends saying, “You can follow up to 1,000 friends, but the amount of followers you can have is limitless. And if some of those you are following are more important to you, you can pin them to favorites to instantly find them.”
Microsoft hasn’t fully detailed the Xbox One dashboard yet, though it’s likely it will begin to open up more about the software soon. The Xbox One is available for pre-order now, and will arrive in stores sometime this fall.