Microsoft has released the much-anticipated Xbox One update early, adding a media player and more to the company's games console.
The next major software update for the Xbox One was expected to arrive in September, but Microsoft has managed to squeeze it out in the dying days of August.
Xbox community chief Major Nelson posted a blog entry announcing the availability of the update, as well as highlighting some of its big new features.
Undoubtedly the headline feature here is a brand new Media Player app, which will finally enable Xbox One users to play media from a variety of external sources - including over USB and DNLA. It will also support a vast range of media formats.
There's also a new and improved Party App, which gives one party leader the ability to apply an invite system and to eject unwanted members.
We've touched on the new SmartGlass features in an earlier story - you can now use the app to record Xbox One game footage, which makes it easier for those who don't have the Kinect system installed for voice commands. You can also post and share status messages.
Elsewhere there are a couple of regional additions, bringing "Xbox On" and OneGuide functionality to a bunch of new territories, and all Xbox One users will be able to set their console to boot direct to TV from standby.
Bandwidth Usage is a pretty self-explanatory tool aimed at those on limited internet usage packages, while users can also now delete multiple GameDVR clips and save their Avatar Gamerpic to OneDrive.
All in all, a pretty significant improvement to the core Xbox One experience - and it's rolling out ahead of time right now. Well done Microsoft.
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