Xbox One User Experience Preview

Xbox One User Experience Preview

Looking good!

A new promotional video provides us with our most extensive peek yet at the initial user experience Microsoft will provide with the Xbox One next month. The console features a Dashboard that is modeled on the same Metro-style interface we see today in Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone, but adapted for large HDTV screens and voice control, as well as some amazing supporting experiences.

You can check out the new Xbox One user experience at the Meet Xbox One web site.

Sign-in. Unlike a PC, tablet or phone, you can bring the Xbox One to life with your voice ("Xbox One") and then sign-in automatically.

Dashboard layout/look and feel. If you're familiar with Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8, you should feel right at home with the Xbox One, though this presentation is tailored for big, widescreen displays. It features big, easily-selected tiles, user tiles at the top, and some entertainment/gaming-related highlights.

It also uses the sort of horizontally-scrolling UI that Microsoft has stepped back from a bit in Windows 8.1. But this ability to scroll left and right utilizes the widescreen HDTV canvas to good effect. And it's easy to navigate with a hand controller.

Media playback controls. Microsoft offers similar media playback controls across each of its platforms, though the Windows and Phone versions are of course geared for touch. Here, we see controls that make more sense on the big screen.

Activity feed. While otherwise using the Xbox One—playing a video here, but in a game as well, presumably—you can display your new activity feed, which lets you see which friends are online and what they're doing, and then interact with them when needed. In the video, the user joins a gaming party and then Xbox One notifies him when he can join. The transition between the two experiences is the instantaneous.

Game recording and sharing. While some individual games provide game recording features today, Microsoft has made this a platform feature in Xbox One. (This is similar to how Halo's multiplayer matching functionality was adapted for use in Xbox Live generally.) And you can of course share your in-game footage with others. (By the way, "Titanfall" looks fricking incredible.)

Snap. Like Windows 8.x, Xbox One supports a snap feature that lets you view two experiences side-by-side on-screen at the same time. In this case, we see a video playback experience next to Internet Explorer, which allows the user to learn more about the content (a TV show) they're viewing.

Skype integration. Skype provides on-screen notifications similar to those we see today in Skype for Windows and It then offers a picture-in-picture Skype experience for video calls.

While there are still plenty of questions around the other experiences on Xbox One—I'm particularly interested in Xbox Music, for example—this video is still a great introduction. Getting excited for late November...

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