Microsoft says it will add external hard drive support and the option for Xbox Live users to add their real names to their Xbox Live profile in the June Xbox One Update that’ll start rolling out next month.
Microsoft detailed what users can expect in the June Xbox One Update in a post that also included a video of the features being demonstrated earlier today.
Of all the features packed into the June Xbox One Update, it is external hard drive support that’s going to get most Xbox One early adopters excited. That’s because today, the Xbox One doesn’t allow users to simply plug in external storage. Instead, the console simply saves everything to the 500GB hard drive that’s built into it.
Going forward, Xbox One owners will have the option to plug in a hard drive and format it. From that point on, games will automatically be installed on that external hard drive. When that hard drive is full the console will revert back to storing content on the Xbox One’s internal hard drive automatically. Before Xbox One users start celebrating there are a few choice gotchas. First, Xbox One owners won’t be able to use any old hard drive they have around the house. Hard drives will need to have at least 256GB of space before they can be paired with the console. They’ll also need to be USB 3.0 compatible.
Xbox One owners should also think twice about using just any hard drive they have around their house. The Xbox One will force users to reformat any external storage that’s added. As such, photos, videos and pictures will be automatically deleted and users won’t be able to get them back. Users will be able to move games, apps and downloadable content between the Xbox One’s internal storage and whatever external storage they plug into it.
The ability for Xbox One owners to use their real names in Xbox Live hasn’t been as big of a hot topic as external storage support. That being said, it was a part of the original list of Xbox Live features being added for the Xbox One that Microsoft shared last year before launch. Like Facebook Microsoft hopes that allowing users to put their real name on their profile will make finding friends and family much easier. To Microsoft’s credit, the company was smart enough to realize that forcing this on users might not be the best idea. Microsoft says that Xbox One users will be able to control who sees their real name. Settings will include allowing just friends, friends of friends or no one at all. Microsoft says users real names won’t show up when playing multiplayer games like Titanfall. Users they are playing with will still see the gamer tag they created when they signed up for Xbox Live.
The June Xbox One update will also add the OneGuide and universal remote functionality to all Xbox Ones. Microsoft first showed off the feature when it added to the Beta Preview Program that users can sign up for and get access to early updates. Microsoft is finally showing international users some love too. This update will add live television support and the Xbox OneGuide to Xbox One consoles in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Users will be able to control their Xbox One with their voice too, provided that they purchase the $499 Xbox One bundle that includes the Kinect 2 sensor instead of the cheaper $399 console without it.
Microsoft says all users will find that the company has made tweaks so that the TV app can be fine tuned for power management purposes. This is also the update that frees entertainment apps like Netflix and Hulu from an Xbox Live gold subscription.
All told, Microsoft is once again expertly demonstrating how it plans to keep the Xbox One relevant. This is the sixth consecutive Xbox One update to address the concerns of early adopters and potential buyers. As Microsoft is facing some stiff competition from Sony’s PS4, they’ll need to keep the updates coming in quick succession.
Members of the Xbox One Preview Program will begin getting the update that contains these features today. Microsoft says it’ll work with those users to iron out any bugs before it sends the update to everyone else.
Microsoft has already confirmed that it’ll unlock entertainment apps for all Xbox Live users by June 9th. Presumably, this update will be available for all Xbox One consoles by then.
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