A new month means a new major update from Microsoft for the Xbox One. It will begin rolling out tonight and offers a host of front-of-house features that a large section of users have been clamouring for.
First and foremost, there is now support for external hard drives. That’s hard drives – plural, as you can use two at a time. The catch is that they have to be USB 3.0 capable and at least 256GB in size. The Xbox One’s internal storage is a pretty hefty 500GB, but with some gamers already starting to fill up their quota this is a welcome addition. Even if you don’t need it right now, it’s reassuring to know you’re covered for the future. What’s more, some reports are claiming that 7,200 RPM external drives with games installed onto them load faster than those on the Xbox One’s standard laptop drive.
Another big addition is the option for automatic login. Yes, most users will have their Kinect cameras plugged in 24/7, which automatically and instantly log you in when they detect your face, but for those who opt out of using it (or are set to buy a Kinectless console) this is a welcome, obvious feature.
Much like PC and Mac online gaming services Steam and Battlenet, you can now choose who you wish to reveal your real name to over Xbox Live. If you have a few IRL chums on your Live friends list, you can elect to reveal your real name to them whilst keeping it hidden from that dude you just added after a particularly good game on Titanfall.
‘International’ users are sure to be happy about this next feature, too, after enviously watching the USA for so long: TV guide support is now available for satellite or cable TV via HDMI passthrough. Whilst the feature has always existed for users, regardless of country, to channel their TV through their console, it was only America which had the ability to control it via the console too.
What this now means for users in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy is that you can bring up your satellite or cable TV provider’s programme guide in-app and navigate it using your Xbox One controller or Kinect commands, as opposed to having to use your remote control like some sort of caveman. You can also use your SmartGlass second screen app to control it, too.
Finally, the first month of Games With Gold for Xbox One has landed! If you’re an Xbox Live Gold member (which, owning an Xbox One, you probably are) you can now claim your first brace of free games. Halo: Spartan Assault and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood are June’s titles, so get cracking.
If you’d rather see everything you’ve just read in an audiovisual format, here’s a video explaining it all.