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Microsoft Reveals The New Xbox Experience

Halo Infinite may have recently been delayed, but there is still some exciting news from the Xbox camp. While Microsoft has finally confirmed that the Xbox Series X will be arriving in November of this year, there is still so much that fans do not know about the console. One of the big questions in recent months is how the overall user experience might change from the Xbox One to the Series X. Specifically, how will things like the console dashboard change with the next generation of consoles? 

According to a recent blog post from Xbox, fans shouldn't expect things to feel drastically different. Instead, Xbox will be working to make the transition as smooth as possible, all as part of something the company is referring to as "the new Xbox Experience."

As explained in the blog post by Head of Xbox Research & Design Chris Novak, the new Xbox Experience is all about making things easy and accessible for the user. This means making each function of an Xbox console easier to navigate and quicker to use. Novak also stressed that these advancements wouldn't only be afforded to owners of the upcoming Xbox Series X. Instead, Microsoft wants multiple supported devices in the Xbox family to have the same speed and ease of use. 

To that end, according to Novak, the new Xbox Experience "will be shared across all Xbox mobile apps, Xbox Game Pass on PC, and of course Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles."

These announcements from Microsoft line up pretty well with previous statements regarding the Series X's user interface. Back in June, The Verge's Tom Warren told fans not to expect a dramatic overhaul of the Xbox experience with the launch of the Series X. As Warren explained on Twitter, "Microsoft is adding some additional stuff in for the console features, but the UI and dash will be the same. Speed and perf will also be improved."

Some fans were sorely disappointed to hear this news, so it makes sense that Microsoft is addressing the overall user experience in its latest blog posts. Hopefully this will go a long way toward easing any fears that the Series X will feel less advanced than other next-gen consoles.

It also sounds like fans will not have to wait until the Xbox Series X release to get to see all of these changes in action. Instead, many of them will be rolling out as the Series X's November release window approaches. Gamers using an Xbox One will likely see some of the UI improvements taking hold as different updates are released. The aim here seems to be to make sure that players are comfortable and familiar with the new Xbox Experience by the time the Series X finally launches.

The messaging from Microsoft appears to be one that aims to let players know the company doesn't intend to fix what's broken. Instead, Microsoft is working on making the things that already work move smoother, rather than completely reinvent them. To this end, Microsoft has been fielding feedback from fans on such subjects as Game Pass and the overall user interface.

One of these improvements is the streamlining of various features that were previous separated. For instance, according to Novak, players will no long have their inboxes cluttered on multiple devices. Novak writes, "We've also consolidated notifications, which will reflect activity across mobile, PC, and console." This should help to unify the overall experience and make the various apps and devices utilizing Xbox software feel more connected than ever.

There will be plenty of other small quality of life improvements made to the overall user interface. Text on the screen will be more legible, presumably with an increase in font size and clarity. This will be a huge relief to some fans who have found that tiny font can actually ruin an otherwise great gaming experience. In addition to the clearer text, icons on the screen will be much cleaner and easier to follow, making for much easier navigation through the Xbox's many menu screens.

According to Chris Novak's blog post, the work won't stop once the Series X is released. Instead, the Xbox team intends to continue listening to customers and building upon what works. Novak explained, "We'll continue to listen to your feedback and build together with you. Our vision is that, even though you'll have more choice than ever in where to play, when to play and who to play with — you'll know you're on Xbox."