Microsoft is preparing for the launch of the Xbox Series X with an upgrade to the Xbox interface. The company is maintaining a unified user experience between Xbox One and the next-gen console, so the older system is getting many of the benefits of its navigational improvements. The UX update is rolling out to Xbox owners starting today.
The biggest interface improvements include a more streamlined Guide, a new notification inbox, and extra controls when you’re in a party. Microsoft is also adding elements like animated backgrounds and customizable profile themes.
The Guide is the small menu that opens on top of your game when you press the Xbox button. Microsoft put a lot of work into making this simple to parse with just a glance. It shows a list of the last few games and apps you used, but it also provides one-click buttons to get back to the dashboard or your library. And you’ll find more buttons on the bottom for commonly used features like Game Pass, the store, and audio controls.
The updated notification inbox puts all of your important alerts into a single feed. If you get an invite from a friend or a notice that a game has finished installing, it will show up here.
Finally, Xbox’s party chat now has individual volume controls for each member. Because we all have a friend that is too quiet or too loud (that’s usually me).