New Xbox One Experience: Hands On

From the moment that Microsoft started to release details of the new UI that was coming to Xbox One, I started to get very excited about it as it looks great and the promise of a faster UI was quite exciting.

Well, I received the update the other day and I’ve had a bit of time to play around with it, and initial impressions are that it is fast. Snap bar to the left is an improvement, however when you want to snap an app such as Achievements, that will still show on the right hand side.

Which at first was very confusing, I thought it was a bug, took to the forums to give my feedback… Nope, not a bug. This is one of the things that has been changed, that apps will snap on the right… Which personally, I think it ridiculous. You have Friends, Party, Settings etc on the left, then suddenly when you snap something, it opens on the right. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going sometimes.


The general style of the update is good, you have the snap centre to the left, and the options across the top which gives you Community, OneGuide and Store. One thing that bugs me about this top bar is the fact that the OneGuide is in there.

Not everyone will use the Xbox One for TV, I know the Xbox I’m using for this I don’t use it for TV stuff, so I’m not sure why this is up there, and would be better being used as something else, or a better idea would be to allow us to customise our Xbox. Have the Standard Home, Community, Store links, but allow us to use that other space for something we want up there.

I was thinking about this for the snap centre as well, we should be able to customise this so that the we can have a choice of where the snapped apps show whether it’s on the left or the right, but also to what content we could have in there. It would be awesome to be able to set Achievement’s or anything else as a default selection. Whether it’s by taking one out of the ones already there and swapping, or giving us something like 3 spaces maybe where we can add our own. There is plenty of space for us to be able to do this.

Speaking of space, I don’t think the Home page utilises the space very well, and would like to see something done with this. You have the main screen where it shows the game or app you are currently using, then underneath its showing the last 4 games/apps you have used along with whatever disk is in there. This space is just spread out with one tile per game app, which is all well and good, but when its one per line, its looks rather bland and I feel the space could be better utilised by doing a 2 by 2 system for the previous games, and then keeping the disk tile full stretched underneath this.

I think this would save loads of room on the home page, and make it more compact and easier/quicker to navigate.


Also, sticking with the homepage, currently the pins are right at the bottom of the page, and a simple press of RT will take you to the bottom to where they are. For someone just coming into gaming, or console gaming and using this new UI I feel like they’re not going to know where their games are and to press that RT button to get down to the bottom straight away.

I think changing the OneGuide link and using that as a ‘My Games/Pins’ section would be more beneficial to players, and would easily let them know where their games are and how to get to them as they would be able to see the link at the top of the page. This as well would help with my 2 by 2 tile idea which I mentioned above as there wouldn’t be much more scrolling to do with that, and having pins in their own tab.

This is only an early beta, and there are improvements on the way, so hopefully we will see somethings change for the better in terms of layout etc, and it is good that Microsoft is taking on feedback to improve it to give the gamers a fast and reliable experience.

November is going to be a fantastic month for Xbox with the new UI releasing, Backwards Compatibility as well as some great games coming! The next few months for Xbox has me quite excited!
If you have tried the New Xbox Experience, what are your thoughts on it, I would love to gauge what you think! 

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