Xbox product manager Ivy Krislov recently joined Larry Hryb on the Official Xbox Podcast to discuss the new Xbox Home experience being tested by Xbox Insiders, and saw Hryb close the door on the return of the UI.
Microsoft introduced the first iteration of the new Xbox home screen recently to select Xbox Insiders, though it won’t be fully implemented until 2023. The Official Xbox Podcast. If you’re not a fan of the current UI being tested, you may be pleased to know that there are two more versions yet to be tested, but only the bottom part of the screen will be changed – and we’re definitely winning. I don’t see the blades coming back.
Microsoft has two additional Xbox dashboard variations to test
“No, you can’t get the knives back,” Hrib said. “They were cute, they were nice, but you can’t buy them back because, as we say in the business, they don’t fit what we want to do.” The ‘Blades’ dashboard first shipped with the first Xbox 360s in 2005, and displayed the console’s menus on individual tabs framed by a pair of silver blades, which would make a ‘whosh’ sound each time you turned them. It’s one of the most distinguishing things that makes the console great to this day.
While the new Home experience doesn’t include blades, it’s designed to give you everything you need on one screen when you fire up the console, scrolling down to reveal various curated lists of Xbox Game Pass titles and other games available for purchase. The idea is to simplify your browsing experience by pulling the store, settings, and search pages and placing them front and center on the dashboard. “We really think of it as an evolution of the current House,” Krislov said. “Taking a lot of things that we’ve done well before and building on that.”
Microsoft’s engineering team laid the foundation for this update last year, streamlining feedback processes for Xbox Insiders. “It might be something that a lot of Xbox fans don’t know; usually it can take us three months to test really small features,” Krislov said. “We hope that by building this infrastructure, we can test stuff, get your feedback, iterate and come back to you with something better.”
The current version being tested by Insiders is the first of three planned dashboard versions, and Krislov’s team doesn’t expect the final version to be ready “before the end of this calendar year,” so a lot could change by then. feedback — “Our feedback so far with testing is that the top row hides dynamic backgrounds a little more than some customers would like,” said Krislov. “We have a meeting tomorrow (September 17) to look at all the feedback.”
When discussing what’s shown when you scroll down on the home page, Krislov notes that “most customers today have Shop, Community, Game Passetc., and then they’ll have one or two pinned games that they really care about.” Other content blocks like Clubs and Friends are less used, and since most people don’t use the bottom of the dashboard, Microsoft is trying to make better use of the space.
“People don’t scroll down as often because they’ll jump right into the games from the top of the House, which makes perfect sense,” Krislov said. “We started by building the infrastructure where we can put different gaming channels in front of the customer with curation, personalization and personalization. We’re the first right now, but as we go through these trials, you have two more plans, [we’ll be] by adding different types of content, for example, for customers using their console to watch TV, we will add a media experience – One of the most common pinned groups on the home page is people who close the apps they want to watch on TV. “
The next dashboard test is scheduled to be available to Xbox Insiders in October, so we’ll see what changes the team makes then based on feedback from the Insiders program. We wrote about some of them recently fan-made concept pieces of other dashboard variants and you’ve taken a poll to find out what you think about a program Microsoft is currently testing. Of the 1,156 votes we received, 482 (41.7%) voted to “throw it in the bin”, while 25% of voters thought it was “good”.
Are you looking forward to seeing the project grow for the rest of this year? Leave a comment below and let us know!