More on June’s Xbox One System Update

More on June’s Xbox One System Update

Now these are the meat and potatoes we were hopin’ for!

Alrighty Xbox fanboys and girls, we’ve got another system update on our hands soon. And while it’s usually no big deal for a console manufacturer to push patches and tweaks down to gamer’s consoles from the mothership, the update coming from Microsoft in June is going to pack quite a wallop. Several big changes are coming to how you interface with your system, in addition to a few smaller (albeit welcome) additions. This also comes on the heels of a newly redesigned Xbox One hitting store shelves this same month, as the company is dropping the inclusion of the Kinect hardware. Now we’ll examine the info recently provided by Major Nelson via the Xbox Wire to learn more about the update.

So let’s roll up our sleeves and delve in shall we?

Better Late Than Never…External Storage Support:

It couldn’t be easier to increase your storage capacity of games and apps…simply plug in your 256 GB or larger USB 3.0 external hard drive and once formatted, copy and move games, apps and game add-ons to increase your storage capacity at home…This is also a great way to take your content to a friend’s house…there’s no need to wait to re-download your game and all the DLC.”

Here we are getting a much needed feature that many gamers have screamed about for quite some time. You would think that a company known for producing computer based products would be the first out of the gate to allow interfacing with basic third-party PC parts. While now having to play catch up, finally giving us the opportunity to connect a USB hard drive to transfer games without re-downloading them (and also expanding our storage) is long over due.

Our Friends List Just Got REAL:

With Xbox One…it can become increasingly more difficult to remember the people you know by their gamertag alone. Now with real names feature you can recognize people on your friends list and more easily discover people you already know who are on Xbox Live…The choice is yours. Also, your name doesn’t show up in games, and you can change your settings any time…”

While this isn’t really going to impact anything about your gaming setup all that drastically, finally having a new level of customization for your friends list is actually a really nice feature. At its core, Microsoft’s gamertag menu is nothing more than a glorified instant messaging program. In that vein, any IM app worth its salt lets you arrange your contact list however you choose ( IE : sort them by folder, renaming contacts, etc). This might seem like a minor change, but may end up as one you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges:

With this update, you’ll find a new hub in Xbox One for exploring all of the great benefits available to Xbox Live Gold members, including Games with Gold and Deals with Gold. Also, with the Xbox Live Gold changes announced last week, shortly after the Xbox One system update becomes available in June all Xbox Live members will be able to access popular gaming and entertainment apps without a Gold membership.

Microsoft has really made their Games with Gold program a focus of their online strategy (which gives gamers free copies of older Xbox titles at the beginning and middle of each month). However, breaking down the recent subscription wall may prove to be their smartest idea yet in the quest to galvanize Xbox Live as THE online gaming marketplace. Users will no longer be required to possess a Gold level membership to access popular content that would have been previously blocked (thus providing a platform for possible new revenue). If people are able to leap frog over the Gold membership to get to apps like Netflix and Hulu, the hope is it will translate to more subscribers on the streaming side (which Microsoft no doubt also gets a piece of).

More on June’s Xbox One System Update

There are other items being implemented within the update that aren’t quite as noteworthy (like expanding SmartGlass functionality for example). However, the take away from Microsoft’s breakdown of their June update is simple: listening to their fanbase is crucial right now. Their struggles with the Xbox One in the console market vs. their PlayStation 4 counterpart have been well documented. As E3 inches closer, Microsoft definitely wants to put their best foot forward. Bringing a set of changes and features that directly echoes the sentiments of what gamers have asked for is certainly a way of building some good will heading into the convention.

Combine that with a few other surprises the company supposedly has primed for the upcoming event, and all signs point to a much better 2014 than last year for Team Xbox.

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