The Xbox One's First 2014 Dashboard Update Adds Some Important Stuff

The Xbox One's First 2014 Dashboard Update Adds Some Important Stuff

The Xbox One is about to improve in a couple of small but useful ways. The console's first dashboard update, zapping into consoles on Tuesday, February 11, will add a controller battery-level indicator and an interface for managing system storage.

The battery indicator is self-explanatory. You can see it in the screenshot above (we added the red parts, obviously!).

The memory management? That's part of a batch of changes that Microsoft is making to allow Xbox One users to have an easier time dealing with all the digital games, apps and other stuff they might be loading onto their console. We at Kotaku haven't seen these changes, but we have seen an advance copy of a blog post in which Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten explains what's going on. Here's Whitten (emphasis his):

The ability to see and manage your storage space. With this update, you will find it easy to find how much space your content takes up and better manage your content. You can also control your install lineup and more easily manage your download queue. We've separated My Games and My Apps into separate lists, so you can easily create separate queues for both. Now you can pick the order in which you want your content to load and we've added a boot progress indicator so you can better track updates while they load.

Whitten and his team are also promising various "stability and product updates to improve the customer experience, and continuous improvements to the quality of Kinect voice so commands become more fluid and responsive over time." Oh, and USB keyboard support.

All of these updates fit in the category labelled Probably Should Have Had This Stuff At Launch, but three months hasn't exactly been long to suffer without them. With the Xbox 360, Microsoft pioneered the practice of repeatedly updating — and largely improving — its console through firmware updates. They're doing that here and crossing off some of their uncrossed t's. They're not getting to some other problem spots just yet, but that's coming too, according to Whitten.

Whitten says that Microsoft will push another dashboard update on March 4 that will focus on multiplayer and party chat improvements. Party chat has not been reliable on the Xbox One, and has been one of the more complained-about features.

Microsoft is trying to have all of its multiplayer and chat issues straightened out before the March 11 launch of Titanfall, an Xbox One/360/PC exclusive (read: not PlayStation and Nintendo) that the console giant and the game's creators at Respawn Entertainment hope will be even half as big as the Respawn crew's last creation: Modern Warfare.


    Can't wait for titanfall and good to see it will have improved party chat when its out :D

    Yes, Yes a million times Yes! I have been skeptical since launch as to when or if any changes would start happening. I just wish this OS was not a step backwards from 360 to begin with.

    In saying that there are plenty of features i love on the Xbox one. and when going back to play 360 have gotten frustrated not having them (namely being able to press the Gem, Go right back to the dash and then multitask apps haha)!

    Last edited 06/02/14 10:09 am

      I just wish this OS was not a step backwards from 360 to begin with.

      Yeah. It's a bit of a buzz kill having to go back to my 360 for simple stuff. I'd hate to be one of the people who traded in their XBOX 360 towards an XBOX One.

        Yeah, it's pretty contradictory of the message they were trying to push; about the Xbone being the only thing you really need in Entertainment.

    I'm still not a fan of the whole tiled Windows thing, but it's good for Xbox owners to get improvements.

    With the storage space, I reckon it'd be an idea to have the option for your console to delete game files of a game you haven't played in however long you stipulate. If the game files are going to be 40-50Gb and upwards and the harddrives will fill up quicker than you realise, having something like that would help people who maybe don't realise they should be deleting old files

      Rather than needing to delete files i wish we were just allowed to use an external storage device.

      I have never been a Fan of the Tiled interface on PC but i think it works well for quickly navigating with a controller. I've come to quite like the Xbox One interface. Just needs a few tweaks to make it better.

        external storage is something that is coming... perhaps not in this update... but they have said that you'll be able to use an external usb3 drive for game storage in the future

      It does this already. If your drive is about to fill up, it will automatically start removing the oldest content.

      The was the whole idea, you don't *need* to manage storage. Providing your gaming habits are fairly predictable, which they might not be.

        If it does it already that's even better. Hopefully though it doesn't just delete the oldest data, rather the oldest data that hasn't been used in a while

          Yeah, sorry. That's what I meant by oldest (longest since used). It gives you a warning and an explanation when it is happening too.

          You can currently pick and choose to delete any installed app/game. So if your drive was full, it would tell you it wants to delete content, you say yes or no. If you chose no, you can go through and delete whatever you like.

          Other then showing you the usable space of the console, I'm not sure why there was a problem with it being hidden from the user.

          Last edited 06/02/14 11:58 am

    Still no word on outputting the Audio stream from a BluRay rather than re-encoding to 1536k DTS or uncompressed PCM.

    Can I play a f*cking custom soundtrack without having the sidebar open yet?

    Can I get 5.1 surround out of the optical port yet?

    Can I play an MP3 off a USB drive?

      They still have a lot of work to do, right? The lack of 5.1 surround through optical absolutely baffles me

        Can someone explain to me how this works? Because I have an optical cable running to my receiver and I seem to get surround sound, things happening behind me only come out of the rear speakers and things like that. It also works with my blu ray discs too, there's some scenes where I hear noises happening in the rear speakers only. Somebody explained that it wasn't true 5.1 and that it was just some kind of emulation/imitation. So, in the words of Austin Powers: but what does it all mean Basil?

          Some receivers will artificially simulate Dolby Surround, have a look at the statement from ASTRO in the attached link. It explains the situation pretty well.

          I get the same thing, but it’s not real 5.1 which it REALLY should be in a 2013 console. They got it to work in 2006 after all.

            Thanks for the link. My current fake surround sounds feels great to be honest, but I'll be interested to hear it in true 5.1 when they fix it to compare the difference and see if it sounds a lot better.

              you'll probably notice it most in the sub. Pro Logic (emulated surround) doesn't isolate the bass channel, just the frequencies.

                Ahhhhh. So it's not "5.1", it's just "5". That's not that big of a deal to me because I have a pretty small system. I would imagine I'd really hear the different of the dedicated sub channel if I had a decent system. Having two school aged kids I don't have much use for a thumping home audio system cause there's not as many opportunities to use it. I use a gaming headset for 90% of my gaming. But I occasionally use my surround sound for kicks, even though it's a low end Samsung it's a lot of fun to hear noises all around.

                  i reckon you'll notice the clarity even on entry level gear.

                Yeah man, I'll be definitely interested to hear the difference.

                What about DTS? thats what im using with optical cable and it sounds amazing

    The storage management doesn't bother me yet cause I only own 3 retail games and a few downloadable titles. I would rather the party system be up and running. But eh, at least they are listening to customer feedback and not sticking to their guns with design philosophies that just don't work. I was afraid they'd commit to silly ideas.

    One thing I love about Microsoft, well in the console business, is they do listen to customers. They continually change things, ideas, updates to suit me. They are by no means perfect but they do listen

    The party chat system in itself isn't that bad.

    It's issue lies in how games use it. For example, games automatically try and include your party in the game you're playing. Don't do that. Most games dont have a "Press Y to invite people" option like they ALWAYS did on 360.

    The actual function of creating a party and chatting is fine outside having to manually turn on the chat, which I'm sure this update will fix.

      DUDE! That is the dumbest, it's like "yeah, xbox, I joined the party but I didn't want to chat with anyone". How in the world is the default set party chat off?

        Tell me about it.

        Something else I discovered last night doing co-op Spartan Assault is that the party chat system struggles BIG TIME with profile switching.

    What about friends coming online notifications. This is one thing that annoys the piss out of me with the Xbox One & PS4. You don't get notified when friends log in like they did on the 360 & PS3.

    Surely I'm not the only one annoyed by having to drop in and out of the dash to check the friends list??

    Last edited 06/02/14 2:57 pm

      This drives me insane, it's one of the dumbest this on the One... I never know when my mates jumps online!

      I think they didn't include that feature due to the expanded size of your friends list. If you fill it up to the new limit could be a constant spam of people coming online. What they should do is have it for friends you have added to your favourites. Even just have it as an option.

    All I want is custom soundtracks. And I know i'm dreaming but Xbox Music with store offline option would be great. When the snap hide option is added both of these music options would be perfect.

    It's pretty sad that at the moment that I am using a bluetooth speaker and my iphone to play music while i'm playing Battlefield 4.

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