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Xbox One finally catches up to the 360

When Microsoft's Xbox One arrived back in late 2013, it came touting a few features that left fans scratching their heads. Kinect 2.0 was an expensive piece of tech; one that rarely seemed to work as intended. The user interface was terribly unintuitive and made finding and playing games a chore. And what was up with that capacitive power button? A button that can easily be activated by the curling tail of a passing cat should not be the one that turns a console on or off. It just shouldn't.

But the launch Xbox One wasn't just notable for its half-baked features and its enormous size — it also lacked some of the more positive traits of the previous generation's Xbox 360. There was no front-facing USB port, which, at the time, was dumbfounding. And the ability to eject discs using a controller was removed, forcing many a gamer try and spot the tiny eject button on the machine when switching games.

Thankfully, over six years after the Xbox One came out, the console is getting that disc eject feature. Microsoft's current generation system will finally be on par with the Xbox 360 in one area — just in time for the Xbox Series X to blow both of them out of the water.

This news comes courtesy of Reddit user rockstarleopard, who — aside from having an amazing handle — discovered that Microsoft had quietly added an "Eject" option to the Xbox One menu when hovering over the disc icon. It seems this will work regardless of the content being used with the Xbox One, so if you're playing a game, listening to a CD, or watching a Blu-ray, you should still be able to eject that disc all the same.

You might wonder why this is necessary; is it really that hard to press an eject button? You have to remember, though, that some with accessibility needs might find the traditional button more difficult to use. Not only that, eject buttons on consoles have been known to fail over time, trapping discs inside the machine. This relatively simple addition addresses both of those concerns, and will hopefully pave the way for the feature to show up on the Xbox Series X immediately.

Unfortunately, we have a bit of bad news, too. According to Polygon, the disc eject feature is currently a part of the Xbox Preview Program — a sort of beta test for Xbox One updates. That means only those enrolled in the program have access to this perk at the moment, and when it might roll out to a wider audience is anyone's guess. If you're not an Xbox Insider, you're stuck ejecting your discs the old fashioned way.

Still, it's great to see Microsoft cares enough about the Xbox One experience to make things like this happen. The company could just as easily devote all of its resources to the Xbox Series X, leaving its current system in the dust. That Microsoft is still issuing updates to the Xbox One — in the year of a new console launch, no less — really speaks to how the Xbox One will still be a part of the Xbox family when the Series X drops. The original model may be showing its age already, but you have to remember: the Xbox One X will likely play a role as gamers ease into the next generation.

Will the Xbox Series X have the disc eject feature at release? That remains to be seen. We do know that Microsoft has put more of an emphasis on accessibility these past few years, going so far as to put out a custom controller designed just for those who can't use traditional gamepads. So the smart money is on Microsoft doing everything it can to ensure the Series X appeals to as many people as possible. We may not be ejecting as many discs in the future as more players move toward digital purchases. But we think the odds are good we'll see the disc eject feature show up day and date with the Xbox Series X when it arrives in Holiday 2020. That is fantastic news for those who've really been missing it, and have wondered why Microsoft ever did away with it in the first place.

We'll undoubtedly have more to share about both the Xbox One and the Xbox Series X in the weeks and months ahead. Keep it here for more news about Microsoft's console lineup; the company seems to be dropping new details on the regular these days.