The July Xbox One Update now going out to users doesn’t add anything in the way of new features, but does pave the way for Microsoft to add some of the more exciting upgrades that Microsoft shared during its Xbox Media Briefing at E3 2015.
Microsoft announced what we’re calling the July Xbox One Update just yesterday in a post on its Major Nelsonblog. Owners of the Xbox One are being prompted to download the software update now. In its blog post Microsoft says that there aren’t any new features that users can see. Instead, it’s an update that prepares for the Xbox One backward compatibility and video game streaming that are coming over the next few weeks and months.
Xbox One owners with the console’s Instant-On power mode turned will have the update already the next time they turn on their console. Anyone who enabled Power Saver mode on their Xbox One console will need to manually update to this July Xbox One Update the next time they turn on their console and connect to Xbox Live.
Microsoft says that there’s no new features in the July Xbox One Update because its teams are now focused on the huge software upgrade that’s coming this fall. Called, the new Xbox One Experience, this software upgrade will add Windows 10 to the Xbox One and more.
A new design seems to combine what people liked about the current Xbox One software with some of the design elements of the Xbox app for Windows 10. A lot of the horizontal scrolling that’s required in the software that’s available on the Xbox One today is gone in this new update.
A video Microsoft showed off at E3 2015 shows the Xbox One software only having tabs for Home, Community and Store. A menu on the far left side of user’s screen divides activities up into the same categories as the Xbox app for Windows 10. Clip sharing, Game Hubs and links to downloadable content are all available directly from the new Xbox One software. There’s no diving through multiple apps just to get an idea of what your friends are playing, for example. Microsoft is adding in its Cortana personal assistant from Windows and Windows Phone, then bringing back the Xbox Avatars in a big way. A refreshed Guide lets users send messages, invites and more directly from a single screen.
Somehow this July Xbox One Update prepares for the biggest feature coming to the Xbox One since launch: Xbox One backward compatibility. Microsoft doesn’t say how, but does confirm that contained in this upgrade are some changes that pave the way for the launch of Xbox 360 games on Xbox One. Microsoft announced that was coming at its E3 2015 Media briefing too.
When it launches users won’t need to keep their Xbox 360 around to play the latest games. At least, that’s the idea behind the feature. Microsoft has added a software emulator to the Xbox One that mimics how the Xbox 360 used to behave — complete with dedicated Guide menu. Any digital Xbox 360 games compatible with the feature simply surface in a user’s library on the Xbox if they own it. Users simply put their Xbox 360 disc into their Xbox One console and they unlock a downloadable version for their console. Microsoft has confirmed that this feature is coming in the fall, but whether it’ll arrive before or after the New Xbox One Experience remains unclear.
The July Xbox One Update does provide fixes and changes related to the Windows 10 game streaming coming to all users at the end of this month. With a controller and the Xbox app for Windows 10, users can stream their favorite titles to their computer instead of having to sit in front of their Xbox One. It’s useful for those who want to game, but aren’t satisfied with being stuck in a single room.