If you’ve got an Xbox One, you may have run into any number of problems with the operating system, from frustrating voice and gesture commands to oddly hidden features. The OS is one ambitious beast — so ambitious that naturally, it doesn’t always work all that well. There’s an update coming that hopes to address some of those problems, and according to Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten, improving the experience with Xbox Live is one of the project’s first priorities. He told Engadget a little bit about what we can expect from the first big update:
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“The feedback we’ve gotten is pretty valid; some of the social stuff is hidden or harder to use than it was on the Xbox 360. So you’re gonna see us come out with an update where, well, we’re going to fix those things. As a person who’s been pretty involved in building Xbox Live for the last decade, I take it pretty seriously when people say it’s harder to get into a party, and the defaults aren’t right, and I don’t like the model. So what I’m trying to do with the team is kind of theme some stuff up. Let’s take an update and really go through a big list of what we’re hearing from customers, what we know is broken with the architecture, areas that we want to improve or complete.”
The Xbox One OS came in not quite finished, and that’s a big deal when you consider just how much it’s trying to bite off. Ease of navigation is absolutely essential to the Xbox One’s goal of thoroughly integrating gaming, live television, and entertainment apps. Right now, it’s close enough to give you an idea of what the company is trying to do, but if these sorts of things don’t work perfectly, they don’t work at all.
The user interface that powers the Xbox 360 today is barely recognizable when put next to what it launched with all the way back in 2005, and Microsoft appears to have a similar attitude towards continually tinkering with the Xbox One. I’d expect a very different experience before the console faces its next major test in the holiday season of 2014: it’s going to perform much better as an “all in one” entertainment center if it expects to resonate with the mass market.