Xbox One Update Suggestions

Xbox One with Kinect


 

Reproduced here is a lightly modified list of recommendations for the Xbox One that I originally posted over on the official Xbox Forums:

 

I know the console is but one day old, but it’s never too early to recommend improvements to the platform. I’ve been with Xbox from the beginning, having owned both the original Xbox and Xbox 360 from day one release. Here are some changes I’d love to see in the next wave of updates.

1. Auto sign-in without Kinect.

The Kinect is great for those who want to use it, but for those who’d rather do without (or have no room to place it), there should be an auto sign-in option consistent with the legacy console’s. On X360, you can select a profile to auto sign-in upon boot. You should not be required to have the Kinect running to auto sign-in your profile. Please include this in the next update.
 
2. Xbox 360 should tell us what our Xbox One friends are playing.

Why when I’m playing on X360 and bring up my friends list does it not display what game my friends are playing on Xbox One? Where is the integration the core base have been expecting? I understand the technological differences removing the ability to party chat cross-platform, but something as minimal as showing what games or apps other friends are playing across consoles should be in place. Let’s make this happen.
 
3. Integrate achievement lists across the two platforms.

As above, where is the integration between the two platforms? Currently there are two discrete achievement lists for the X360 and X1. When I bring up my profile on X360, I see one obnoxious entry titled “Xbox One Games”, which collects all gamerscore earned on the X1 platform. My friends on 360 are unable to see what achievements I’ve earned on my Xbox One games. This seems to me technologically lazy.

Instead, the achievement databases should be integrated such that each X1 game has its own entry when you bring up a gamercard on X360. I understand the achievement images are larger on the X1, but there is no reason why they could not simply be downsized for rendering on the X360 platform. From what I can tell, there are no other meaningful differences between the two lists. The core base of gamers are those that have been with the legacy console the longest. We deserve better than this.
 
4. Improved access and navigation for achievements.

If not already apparent, my biggest problem with the One is the achievements. I want to be able to pause my game and look at them JUST like I do on the 360. But as it is now, I have to leave the game to look at them and then I have to open the specific achievement to see its description. You have turned what was an efficient, addictive process into an annoyingly tedious chore. Either craft an even better way to browse achievements, or revert back to the legacy style.

Achievements were pivotal in cultivating the hardcore fanbase you have today. If you break the achievements system, much of that base will scatter to different platforms and leave the Xbox behind.
 
5. Better presentation for achievements.

I think we should be able to control how many games played/achievements are displayed on the screen at once. I much prefer the old scrolling list over the mega monster blocks that only show a few at a time. Think of it as how you can sort picture thumbnails in Windows. These blocky icons make it difficult to get a quick overview of what I need to work on, not to mention are an eyesore.

On a related note, there should be more stats for achievements on the One. In the 360 dashboard, it displays an overall percentage as well as total achievements earned / total possible (locked + unlocked). Why was this not ported over? I and many others really liked this.
 
6. Separate apps from games where it makes sense to.

I get it. This generation is all about apps. Nothing on the dashboard can function without one. But there is no reason we should be seeing all of these apps when I go to “Compare Games” with friends. Last I checked, ESPN, Internet Explorer and Redbox Instant are not games. I already hate that we’ve now added achievements to apps, but these should at least be separated from game achievements.

The same applies to Xbox.com. When I go to “Compare Activity” with a friend on Xbox.com, I don’t want to scroll past a list of 20 apps to get to the games. I propose that there be two options: Games and Media. Keep these lists consistent across all platforms. I can’t imagine this being difficult.
 
7. Unclutter the dashboard.

Xbox One dashboard

Organization and navigation have taken a step backwards.


The latest 360 build is nearly perfect, with a level of organization that just makes sense. You have games, music, video, settings, etc. sprawled across the top, with whatever you’re looking for nestled under the most appropriate category. Everything on Xbox One is more difficult to find and takes longer to access. What happened?
 
8. Ability to toggle friend notifications.

With the Xbox One, your friends list and followers list come with a higher cap. To avoid the user getting notification pop-ups every minute or so, MSFT disabled this feature entirely. Instead, give the user the option to enable/disable friend notifications. Rarely is it better to disable a feature altogether than to give the user more flexibility. Notifications at the level of user-created groups would work very nicely.

The Xbox One has been touted for its social capabilities, when it’s failing to live up to the X360’s standards in this regard in a number of ways.
 
9. Option to quickly view online friends and send them invites.

On the 360, friends used to be two button pushes away. Now they are two, then wait, loading…loading…loading, then third click, and again loading…loading…loading, sometimes followed by “Error: sorry we don’t know what went wrong there try again later.” Meanwhile, the next match has already started and I’ve been able to send zero invites. Also, sometimes the friends screen doesn’t even load or load properly. This is unacceptable. Just putting everything into little square blocks doesn’t make things simpler. In this case, it just seems to bury things under more windows and load times.

Was there no UAT (user acceptance testing) for the One? I.e., count the number of steps and time it takes to perform action ‘X’ on the legacy console and then compare those values with the new console. The efficiency should be at least on par, if not better, but never a step backward. What happened?
 
10. Option to disable friend’s feeds.

Xbox One Friend Feed

Pure minutia


The real-time feed is an OK feature for those who enjoy that sort of thing, but why do I care if someone watched TV, switched to game and back to TV? It’s excessive. Give users the option to disable it or filter the onslaught.
 
11. Music and other media streaming over network.

Streaming your own music while gaming is one of my most used features on the Xbox 360. Right now I use a program called Serviio, which shows up when I bring up the Xbox 360 Guide and click ‘Select Music’. As far as I know, there is currently no equivalent way of doing this on the Xbox One. The lack of DLNA support is appalling for a $500 console touted as a “media center.”

When I failed to find a solution, I then assumed you could at least use an iPod or a flash drive to play your own music, as with the 360. But it appears that currently the Xbox One cannot even stream music from a USB source (iPod or stick memory). What gives? Who is responsible for these lapses?
 
12. Multiple WiFi profiles.

For those who have to move the console to different locations frequently, it can be cumbersome to configure WiFi each and every time you return to a network you’ve previously set up. Most media devices today have this ability, especially ones approaching the sticker price of the Xbox One, including the PS4.
 
13. Battery charge indicator. Ability to disable vibration.

A helpful feature on the 360 is a battery meter that displays when you access the Guide. This allows you to swap out exhausted batteries so you don’t get caught with your pants down in the next multiplayer match. There also does not appear to be an option for turning off controller vibration (either altogether or trigger feedback only). For many, disabling controller vibration is a means to preserve battery life. I don’t currently see a system-wide option to disable it for all games.
 
14. Bring ‘Recent Players’ back.

Add this adjacent to the friends list, just like on 360. It’s incredibly convenient and I use it all the time.
 
15. Ability to mute a player and view their gamercard.

Bring back the ability to view other players’ gamercards in-game and make it just as effortless to mute them as on the 360. Why were all of these brilliant features removed? Someone call QC.
 
16. Ability to kick from Party.

More party chat options. Kicking players from a party has been really the best thing for party chats.
 
17. No retail labels on my game copies.

This one is an unapologetically aesthetic concern. I received my Xbox One copy of Assassin’s Creed IV yesterday and this is what I see plastered across the face of the box:

ACIV Retail Label

Click to enlarge


Having the seller’s label on the box is incredibly tacky and cheap. Not sure how much control Microsoft has over this one, but please cut that out.
 
18. Add multichannel support (e.g., DD 5.1, DTS 5.1).

The fact that a console released in 2013 does not include this would be an April Fool’s joke were it not true. Quite honestly, the console should not have been released without functional surround sound audio.
 
19. Blu-ray 3D support.

There is now a huge install base for 3D. Every major manufacturer has been selling 3D televisions and 3D Blu-ray players for a few years now, and the players are often a fraction of the price of the Xbox One. Any product sold in 2013 touting itself as a “media center” should include 3D support out of the box. (See the PS3.)
 
20. Various bugs and other optimization issues.

Video playback on most apps still suffers from judder and frame skipping. Blu-ray still has audio sync issues (I’ve owned upward of a half dozen BDPs and have never had sync issues like this). The One is still plagued by memory issues when you multi-task too much. After a while, my Xbox One experiences some slowdown when switching tabs, and the achievement unlocked animations will crawl too. I am sure these issues will be addressed over time.

Wrap-Up

This is a list that, I hope, is not too difficult to implement in the near future. I’m sure further time with the system will occasion new ideas and possibilities to come. Overall, I and many of my friends are pleased with the console and want to see it be the best it can be, especially with the stiff competition it is facing this generation. Thanks for listening. And I’d appreciate if the mods or anyone else could push this through the proper channels.


 
UPDATE: Microsoft has addressed several of these items in the monthly updates. More to come.