we did it for Change. we did it for PlayStation 5. It’s fair that we do this for Xbox as well. Earlier this month, Sony announced It would purge the underused Compliments feature from PS5, which lets you reward others in multiplayer games. This spurred a thought exercise: What other features from popular gaming platforms could be removed without much fanfare?
The Xbox’s UI is pretty tweaked, having been honed for roughly over a decade. (The Xbox Series X/S uses the same user interface as the Xbox One; it’s universal across console generations.) There’s always room for clipping, though. Here are the features Microsoft can clean out of the Xbox without causing too much fuss.
Pin to Home Page
You can permanently pin any game to Xbox: hover over its icon, tap the hamburger button and select “add to home”. Maybe there’s a use case I’ve overlooked, but the logic behind it has always failed me. If you play a game often enough that you need to permanently pin it to your home screen, it’s probably on your home screen as one of your most played games. (The top row of the Xbox UI shows your six most recently used apps. Plus your game library is literally there.)
Every Xbox game has a Game Club, accessed by viewing the game’s “game card” (in the menu that opens after tapping the hamburger button) and then tapping the “official club” icon. Here you can see information about a particular game, from achievement watchlists to “news” stories. favorite game news site). In the Progress tab you can also see minute by minute how much time you have devoted to that game – good stuff! So Game Centers are not like that wholes useless, by itself. Rather, they unnecessarily confuse the information you really want, which becomes quite clear given how easily it is available on competing platforms like PlayStation and Switch.
We’re fine in the Zoom era, but the ubiquitous ghost of a video chat app from the five internet eras hasn’t gone anywhere. Yes Skype too much on xbox. My only question here is… uh, why? It’s supposed to double up in part as a voice chat alternative, I guess, but pretty much every other chat option is better, including Microsoft itself or newly added Discord integration (great for crossplay).
Of course, you can set automatic break reminders at half-hourly intervals under the Preferences menu in console settings. (These notifications only pop up while you’re playing, but the hours start counting when you turn on your Xbox.) But come on, nobody wants their Xbox to act like their parents. Plus, free time is more valuable than ever these days. It gives you more power if you can reasonably devote a few hours to consecutive games.
By default, the Xbox home screen contains a line item for Events; this will give you a quick update on whether any live service games are running active events. Currently my Events tab shows details about events for: Marvel’s Avengers, Ark: Survival Evolvedand destiny 2— two of which I’ve never played on Xbox. (We avengers account on PlayStation; i never touched boat.) So, it’s clearly not always relevant. But at the same time, if you’re a regular gamer of service games, you’ll likely find out what’s going on through official social channels, news feeds or in-game.
Xbox Assist is an encyclopedia of built-in FAQs, tips, and other system-level guides. For example, if you open the Troubleshooters menu, you’ll see a step-by-step guide on how to launch a game you’re having trouble launching, complete with the option to check the status of Xbox’s online services. However, you cannot keep these guides open at the same time as the part of the Xbox you are having trouble with; this means you have to memorize the advice or switch between the two apps. And we all know the one place people turn to for easy answers: Google. It is much easier to have all this information. Xbox’s Support Page in a web browser.