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Key Updates Could Leave the PS4 Behind the Xbox One



Microsoft’s Xbox One console hasn’t yet conquered territory in the game space held by Sony’s PS4 gaming console, but the company is continuing to reward early adopter’s faith with frequent software updates and feature fixes. Microsoft hasn’t officially announced when it’ll arrive, but at least one new update will allow users to capture screenshots from their games and customize the console’s home screen to their tastes.

To be clear, Microsoft hasn’t officially announced any of these features’ release date just yet. Instead, news of them comes by the way of Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Head of Xbox. Spencer spent some time discussing the Xbox One and future feature updates during an interview on the TiC Podcast. During the show he’s asked about features users want. It’s at that point that he confirms Microsoft’s Xbox Team is working on delivering more customization saying, “themes and background pics are things we’re working on.” He goes on to note that screenshots are on their way too.

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Alone any of these features arriving would be worth celebrating. Take backgrounds for example, the Xbox One is a very personal piece of technology not unlike a smartphone. Buyers fill it with their time and the games they think are worth playing and paying for. They tailor the OneGuide to their interests so it’s easier to get to their favorite television shows and channels quickly. In that context it’s pretty ridiculous that the Xbox One didn’t already have background pictures.

Presumably, themes will sit behind the Live Tiles that now dominate the Xbox One interface. Whether they’ll sync with the Live Tile colors being used on other Microsoft-made products like Windows and Windows Phone isn’t yet know. Whether users background photos will sync from either of these other platforms remains unclear too – that’s something even Windows Phone doesn’t do today. Whether we’ll see premium themes like the ones Microsoft offered Xbox 360 users through the Xbox Store is unknown too.

What we do know is that screenshots simply can’t come soon enough. Every Xbox One that’s connected to the Xbox Live service can record video clips and share them with other gamers. Clip recording is as simple as just saying “Xbox, record that” for those that have a Kinect 2 sensor. These clips can be shared across Xbox Live or even on YouTube and OneDrive for storage. In that context, not being able to get screenshots when you want to show off a particular game or accomplishment sounds like a pretty glaring omission. Sony’s PS4 video game console added screenshot support and the ability to store those screenshots on a flash drive earlier this year. PS4 owners are still waiting for external hard drive support.

Because Spencer left out any information about timing, we can only conclude that the features he discussed aren’t yet ready for prime time. That makes sense given Microsoft’s track record for Xbox One updates lately. So far the company has revealed one major or minor Xbox One update a month. Sometimes these monthly updates come packed with huge feature changes and sometimes they’re only minor. External hard drive support so that users could store games on hard drives other than the 500GB hard drive built into the Xbox One, arrived in a monthly Xbox One update. Late this summer Microsoft revealed that a forthcoming Xbox One update would add support for DLNA media streaming. An update already add a media player that supports audio and video in dozens of formats. All of these updates are free and tested on members of the Xbox One Preview Program before they roll out to regular Xbox One buyers. The PS4 will get themes in the future, but DLNA streaming support and more media features remain missing.

Read: Xbox One Review Six Months Later


The Xbox One is on store shelves now for $399 without a Kinect 2 sensor or $499 with a Kinect 2 sensor. In the next few weeks Microsoft plans to launch a standalone Kinect 2 sensor for users who purchase the cheaper console. It’ll cost $150. The PS4 costs $399.



  1. Bill

    10/09/2014 at 7:53 am

    This article is completely wrong about Windows Phone not allowing users to have their own custom backgrounds. The 8.1 update added that feature earlier this year.

    • Travis Pope

      10/09/2014 at 7:55 am

      I was referring to backgrounds on Windows Phone 8.1 not syncing across devices like they do with Windows 8.1.

  2. Keelhaul

    10/09/2014 at 10:04 am

    Wallpapers! This changes everything! Reminds me of people ricing their rides to compensate for what’s under the hood…

  3. NIck

    10/09/2014 at 2:58 pm

    It appears as if the author of this article is a little biased towards Xbox? I can’t entirely tell. 1)The title. “Key updates could leave PS4 behind Xbox One. 2)He mostly talks about how while not officially announced yet, Phil Spencer talked about themes. 3)Any simple research would have revealed that Sony has already officially announced themes and screenshots are coming to the PS4, and coming as soon as this month or next!. ….This was the only “key update” I read about. How is it supposed to “leave the PS4 behind”, especially since Sony looks to be introducing it sooner. I have an Xbox One, and I hate articles written like this. Seemingly lack of research.

    As to the other point at the end, Sony doesn’t need external hard drive support, because they can actually upgrade their internal one, something that is a MUCH better option and I really am disappointed at Microsoft for forcing me to use an external drive for my console. DLNA and a few media items are the only thing Xbox really has over Sony right now. The article isn’t bad, but he needed to know what was going on on Sony’s side. And the title needs to be reworded to something actually appropriate to the content.

    • David Sargent

      10/14/2014 at 9:39 am

      The title for this article isn’t definitive. The fact that he says it “could” leave the PS4 behind the Xbox One is simply his opinion, which he has a right to. Besides, we’re not exactly comparing apples to apples here. Both systems have weaknesses and strengths in their own right and just because themes are coming to the PS4 either sooner, or just having them announced sooner, doesn’t mean either console will take bounding leaps over the other because of it. As far as extra drives go, that’s just your opinion. I personally favor an external drive, but it’s all personal preference. I think both consoles have a long line of tweaks, UI changes, and additions before I’m ready to call one way better than the other.

  4. Hehehe

    10/09/2014 at 4:55 pm


  5. chesslyn

    10/09/2014 at 10:38 pm

    Hey author playstations offically anounced 2.0 update says hello. Do some research before posting silly articles :).

  6. GottaBeOpinion

    10/10/2014 at 4:45 am

    The PS4 can already take screenshots and they announced themes a month ago.
    Uninformed Opinions intensify.

  7. Tim

    10/10/2014 at 7:12 am

    Taken alone any of these would be worth celebrating? Excuse me? I mean, sure, backgrounds and screenshots are nice but none of them are things I am going to be celebrating in the streets to have…

  8. Bert

    10/10/2014 at 4:53 pm

    Oh wow screenshots and new themes for xbox one. The PS4 already has screen shots and with the new 2.0 update the xbox one will be left in the dust with playstations new share play feature. Dude go research both sides before you post. BRUH

  9. Karl

    10/11/2014 at 2:32 am

    PS4 can already Screenshot, just say “playstation Screenshot” with the eye or whatever its called plugged in

  10. old school

    10/11/2014 at 7:44 pm

    Wow thts a shame the author didnt relieve tht the ps4 already have a update that will have screen shot theme and its get better share play 2.0 please author next time do your research

  11. peggyO

    10/13/2014 at 9:30 am

    Yeah its not the wallpapers and screenshots that make xbox one better than ps4. Its the games and service. Take a look at forza horizon 2 vs driveclub. Forza horizon 2 got several 100 review scores and ended with a metacritic of 86. Driveclub got several 40, 50 and 60s and ended with a metacritic score of 71. With sunset overdrive, project spark, halo and Fable all here now or in a week or 2…..again xbox one has better games. Regarding service…Driveclub completely overloaded the incapable PSN…with driveclub servers still down leading to complete PSN shutdown. And it is still down. Plus the free version of driveclub never released as promised. Sorry but sony, ps4 and its PSN pretty much suck in my opinion. I am lovin my xbox one !

  12. Xbox(THE ONE)

    10/18/2014 at 9:49 pm

    Here we go! Lol of course the jealous ps fan club had to troll the site to say HEY! WE’RE BETTER THAN XBOX LOL…Reminds of Samsung junkies trolling HTC, or Apple. Let Xbox have it’s time in the spotlight without ppl hating! Enjoy your console and let the truth prevail! STOP HATING!!!!

  13. Jeremy Freeman

    10/27/2014 at 8:36 am

    This update stinks, I love my Ps4, but my Xbox One recognizes NTFS HDDs, plays back AVI, MP4, MKV (some), and all MP3 files, including ogg, and M4A. And you can also stream from your laptop, tablet etc. Why Sony will not implement this is beyond me. PS3 had all of that from the start. The great thing about the Xbone update is it’s the first system to ever recognize NTFS. And you can store all your games ON IT!! Step it up SONY!!

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