More system updates on the way for Xbox One

Microsoft aren’t quite done with the Xbox One dashboard updates, even after the huge overhaul we saw in fall 2017. This time, Xbox Insiders get new gaming-centric additions to the Guide, a “Do not Disturb” status that mutes all notifications, theme schedules, and more. There’s also word of a “Career” system meant to supplement Gamerscore, with user levels and accompanying rewards.

Xbox Insider updates

Let’s go over the confirmed changes first. Announced at the official Xbox Wire, Xbox Insiders in the Alpha ring may now find a “Next Achievements” feature under the Guide. It pulls a list of achievements from all your available games, with filters to sort according to closest, most common, rarest, most common rare, and highest Gamerscore.

The Guide will also see Mini Game Hubs soon, meant to provide you with contextually relevant information without pulling you away from the game. It’s a quick and easy way to check on friends who are currently playing, see what the next achievements, browse Looking for Group posts, and more.

On the flip side, if all you want to do is play your game in peace then the new “Do not Disturb” online status will come in handy. Other than letting your friends know that you’re busy, it’ll also suppress notifications so you can soak in the immersion or focus on that kill.

Remember the light and dark themes from the fall update? Microsoft are now adding schedules, so your system can automatically switch between the two based on the time of day. They’re also expanding the console inactivity shutdown feature to include two, three, four, and five-hour options.

Lastly, they’re tweaking the community feed to better view the most recent comments, as well as being able to see who has liked your posts.

How to be an Xbox Insider

For new owners or those not yet aware, the Xbox Insider Program is a free opt-in community to preview and provide feedback on the latest Xbox One system updates. You’ll get to complete quests, answer surveys and polls, and provide reports directly to the developers, all in bid to improve the Xbox ecosystem.

New entrants start in what is called the Omega ring, slowly working their way up towards Delta, Beta, and finally Alpha depending on tenure and participation. The highest tier, Alpha, is invite-only.

Get the Xbox Insider Hub app

  1. Navigate to the Store tab on the dashboard or select Store in the Guide.
  2. Select Search.
  3. Search for the Xbox Insider Hub.
  4. Select Get/Install from the product page

Sign up for a Preview

  1. Launch the Xbox Insider Hub.
  2. Go to Insider content.
  3. Select the preview you want.
  4. The eligibility requirements are on the Info tab of the Insider content details page.

Do note that only game or app previews you’re eligible for will show up in the Hub. Eligibility itself depends on other factors determined by the developers, but it’s something you shouldn’t get too worked up about anyway.

You may find out more at the Xbox Insider Program FAQ.

Xbox Live ‘Career’

Windows Central reports seeing currently tested features that point to a new “Career” system for Xbox Live, boasting user profile functionality that’s reminiscent of Steam.

“It appears that players using this new Career system will be able to obtain levels, and even prestige ranks, obtaining rewards such as loot crates which come with cosmetic items for the new Avatars system.

“The Career system also comes with Quests to complete specific objectives, such as playing certain games, which will also come with crate and experience points as rewards. At this time, it doesn’t look as though loot crates will be purchasable with real money, but it’s probably too early to say whether that will be the case later on.”

Steam users are already familiar with the idea of user levels and cosmetic rewards such as badges, custom backgrounds, stickers, and much more. There’s also Steam Trading Cards, a platform-wide mechanic that exists above the game’s respective achievements. It’s a great incentive for fans to go through their gaming library and interact with the wider community, though there’s also real-money value (with supply-demand fluctuations) as the cards get traded on Steam’s marketplace. They used to be a far bigger deal when Steam ran themed activities during their major sales, but the trading community is still alive and kicking.

While there’s no evidence so far of Microsoft going down the trading route, the loot crates do show an interest in bolstering the Xbox’ social aspects, rather than it just being a launcher and store. It’s an interesting development we’ll be keeping tabs on, but our priority still goes to waiting for that next big Xbox One exclusive.

Ade Putra

Ade thinks there's nothing quite like a good game and a snug headcrab. He grew up with HIDEO KOJIMA's Metal Gear Solid, lives for RPGs, and is waiting for light guns to make their comeback.