Xbox One Keeps Getting Better with the Help of Our Fans
By Major Nelson posted March 18, 2014 at 6:00 AM
We announced last month that we’ve invited select Xbox Live members to preview system updates early. The engagement from the community has been incredible and we’ve gotten valuable feedback and bugs that have helped inform our feature improvements and quality before we rolled out the system update to the broader community. Thank you to those who shared their thoughts and let us know what they loved and what wasn’t working so well.
We will continue to push new features and other updates to these folks to explore and we’ll be trying new things with the UI, like notifications, different ways of discoverability, and a bunch of other ideas the team is working on. Through this process, some features will launch, others might not and all will be refined through feedback. We value your feedback and want your help shaping the future of Xbox One.
Today we’re excited to share the next wave of features that we will begin to roll out. These features will become available to members getting the early previews in the coming days and weeks and will be available to the full Xbox Live community in April.
We’re also extending more invitations to Xbox Live members around the world in our current 13 Xbox One markets. New invitees will be sent an Xbox Live message to register. Once registered, you will be able to test the early features included in the update and provide feedback on a private forum.
- Game and app saves and updates. A game save progress bar will show you the status of your game saves. You will also be able to easily tell what games and apps are being updated or have been updated recently.
- Friends improvements. Notifications will be added to see when favorites and friends sign in to Xbox Live. This actually was one of the most frequently requested features from the first preview wave and we made it a priority to include it in the April update. Also, friends who are in multiplayer will be identified in the friends list. We’ll also add the ability to view friends’ most popular apps.
- Kinect voice and motion improvements will continue to fine tune the quality and reliability of Xbox One commands.
- Improved GameDVR video quality through compression algorithm improvements.
We value all of the feedback we are getting from you. We know external hard drive storage is still a big one and we’ve promised before it’s on our list – I assure you that it still is. We’ll continue regular updates to Xbox One. Thanks for your support.
We have started to deploy the latest 1404 build (xb_rel_1404.140319-2200). Consoles that are in standby mode will be able to install the update starting at 6:00PM PDT on 3/21. Consoles that have not received the update in standby mode by 1:00AM PDT on 3/23 will be prompted to install the update when they connect to Xbox Live. This update will be larger than most (over 1GB). We expect that future updates for the 1404 update will be closer in size to previous updates (~600mb or smaller).
The following changes are contained within this build:
- Several fixes and tweaks to the user interface.
- Initial fixes to address audio crackling sound encountered when Dolby Digital is enabled (additional fixes are pending and will be deployed with a later build).
- A fix to address issues where game resume could fail when a console comes out of standby, causing the game to restart rather than resume from its previous state.
- Initial fixes for Blu-ray issues where the drive may not be responsive, requiring full system power down to resolve (pressing and holding the power button on the console for 5 seconds).
- Underlying OS changes required to enable planned 1404 features.
- *NEW FEATURE* Silent system update installation: Initial OS changes are present that enable consoles to take a system update overnight when in standby, and the console will now complete the installation, then boot back into standby. This feature will bypass the green installation progress bar currently seen when starting a console that needs to finish installing an update started in standby. This feature will already work with some consoles in this update!
- An issue has been identified in the current 1404 build (xb_rel_1404.140313-2200) where some consoles with wired connections aren’t taking system, app, or game updates when in standby. Consoles connected via wireless are not affected. To test the silent update with a wired connection, you can work around this issue by connecting wirelessly when putting your console in standby overnight.
- When performing the new silent system update, the following issues may be encountered:
- The Blu-ray drive may spin up during silent startup.
- The Kinect sensor may light up during silent boot.
- During shutdown from standby to install the update, the power light will flash showing that it is shutting down.
Reported Update Issue
- Work is still being done to fix all Blu-ray drive issues that were introduced in 1404. There are still some instances where the Blu-ray drive may not wake up from an idle state, resulting in errors that a disc is not present. These issues should be resolved by ejecting and re-inserting the disc to wake up the drive.
- When turning off your console with the “Xbox, turn off” command, Kinect does not respond to a command of “yes” or “no”, requiring the controller or remote be used to select “yes” to turn the console off.
We have received some reports of participants encountering an issue with installing this update. The issue being reported is that some consoles get stuck in a loop trying to install the update, or some are hanging at a black screen during the update. This issue has occurred with consoles that are configured with optical audio enabled, and is caused by an invalid audio setting being configured during the update process. If you encounter this issue, please follow the steps below as a workaround. The developers are investigating a fix for this issue occurring during system updates.
1. Unplug the network cable or disable the wireless network and start up your console.
2. If the update screen is not displaying, disconnect and reconnect the HDMI cable until update screen appears.
3. At update screen, select Cancel. (Cancel only appears when network is disconnected.)
4. Go to Settings > Display & Sound.
5. Switch HDMI Audio and Optical Audio to Stereo Uncompressed.
6. Plug the network cable back in, or re-enable your wireless network, and connect your console to the network.
7. The update screen should now appear and update should proceed successfully.
More Details on the Upcoming Xbox One System Update
We’re still working on our next Xbox One system update and have been receiving some really great feedback from members with early access. Tonight, I wanted to let you know we’re pushing a few more features to the members previewing new system updates that you may be hearing about. Here are a few details on those features.
- Blu-ray player supports 50 Hz video output for content recorded at 50 Hz. We’ll also be updating the Blu-ray Player app in the coming days to round out these improvements.
- Controller and headset adaptor firmware updates will reduce audio static and improve wireless connectivity.
- Silent reboot after system updates and system update on demand now available. After this update, if your console is in Instant On mode, the update will happen automatically and return to standby upon completion. This means you won’t need to power on your console after an update moving forward. If you want to take future updates when available without waiting for your console to do it on its own, we’ve added this option under system settings. It will only show as available when there is an update to take.
We’re committed to delivering innovation through system updates, and on behalf of the Xbox team, I can’t say enough how integral fan feedback is to this process. Some features previewed won’t always make it to launch right away because we want to help ensure the best experience for our fans before pushing a new feature.
Also, these features may roll out over several days to this audience.
The engagement from our Xbox One community continues to be incredible, in large part thanks to the input and feedback from our fans. Select members far and wide that have been previewing system update features have been as generous with their time and input as we had hoped they would be. This feedback continues to help us make the future of Xbox One yours as much as ours.
So thank you to those who shared their thoughts with us and, hopefully, are having a little fun in the process.
We look forward to sharing news when our next Xbox One system update rolls out to the larger community.
Don't think this will be part of April's update but posting it here anyway:
Xbox One Will Be Getting External Storage Options Soon, Says Major Nelson
Written Thursday, April 03, 2014 By Richard Walker
Major Nelson has been chatting with the Reddit community recently, revealing a few interesting nuggets about what's coming next for Xbox One. Chief among these is external storage, as the console's 500GB HDD fills up surprisingly fast. I have about 79GB left at time of writing, if you're interested.
"Lots of good work going on to make the console even better - some you'll see soon, some will show up later. But: it is all good stuff ," Larry 'Major Nelson' Hyrb revealed on Reddit, adding: "External game storage is coming soon....I need to check on media support."
The Major also assured people that Kinect is not spying on them, once again. "There are a TON of issues w/ this..#1 being privacy. Some people (incorrectly) think Kinect is always watching them." OK then.
Still, external storage for Xbox One, eh? That'll be handy.