Massive Xbox One update arrives with faster, fresher UI and Beam streaming

Microsoft is rolling out some new features for Xbox One owners today, headlined by the integration of the Beam streaming platform.

Purchased by Microsoft last year, Beam will go up against Twitch for the right to broadcast your gaming footage online.

It promises the ability for low-latency interaction with fellow gamers without the need for additional hardware or software.

Games can be streamed to Beam directly from the Guide app on Xbox One.

As with all of the features introduced today, Windows 10 gamers will receive the Beam within the new Xbox app coming with the Creators Update, due out on April 11.

Beam

Speaking of the Guide, Microsoft says it is now faster and more intuitive following today’s update.

The first page of the Guide is designed to get you to the content you care about most,” Microsoft wrote in an Xbox Wire blog post on Wednesday.

This includes putting Games, Apps, Home Store, recent apps, new games, pinned items and deals front and centre.

Music controls are now available directly from the Guide, while screenshots and video recording are also available in the touch of a single button.

Microsoft is also adding a new achievement tracker to the Guide’s multitasking capabilities, while Cortana is present as an on-screen overlay.

Guide

The Home screen, or Dashboard as its more commonly known, debuts a brand new look. It has a simpler UI, which Microsoft says increases “overall system performance.”

“To do that, we’ve optimized for speed and are prioritizing the most valuable content for your games,” the firm says.

Those gamers without a custom background will now see the hero art from the game they’re currently playing behind the Dashboard.

Home

Finally, Microsoft is enabling parents to gain more control over screen time with new settings that can limit it, while there are also new accessibility options.

The most notable is the Co-pilot feature that enables cooperative play using the same controller.

Have you downloaded the new Xbox One update? Share your first impressions in the comments below.