Microsoft posted an extensive video walkthrough of the Xbox One dashboard today, taking you through the general UI and how to access video games, apps and the new integration with live TV.
The 12-minute tour by Microsoft’s Marc Whitten and Yusuf Mehdi is the most thorough and accurate representation of the general Xbox One user experience that we’ve seen to date. The pair show you what’s available on the Home tab, as well as how to save favorited content in the Pins area over on the left-hand edge.
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Visually, it doesn’t look too different from the Xbox 360. The customization option and personalization offered by the Xbox One looks might impressive though. The dashboard will change automatically depending on who is signed in; the updated Kinect will identify who’s in the room and then adjust the on-screen tiles and pins accordingly. It doesn’t matter which console you’re using either, as all of your preferences will carry over as soon as you log-in with your Xbox Live account. If multiple players are logged-in simultaneously, you can also switch between custom dashboards using the phrase: “Show my stuff”.
App switching also looks snappy and responsive. Whitten calls out a series of oral commands to alternate between Hulu, Netflix, Internet Explorer and live TV, and the Xbox One appears to handle it all with only a minimal amount of lag. Of course, you’ll also be able to use the standard controller if you prefer.
The video walkthrough also shows how notifications will be presented over live TV. You can be completely removed from the dashboard experience, but the Xbox One will still alert you whenever Skype or multiplayer requests come through on your system. Just say you want to accept the invitation and the console will throw you right in.
Most of the focus and media coverage around the Xbox One has concerned its launch line-up, hardware specs and controversial DRM policies (all of which have now been reversed). As Microsoft ventures further into the casual market however, it’s increasingly important that the Xbox One offers an accessible, stress-free user experience. If owners are frustrated or confused by the new dashboard, the chances of them using their Xbox One as the default input for all of their games, streaming and live TV will be nil.