Let that sentence sink in for just a bit longer. Windows, an OS mostly associated with desktop and laptops, will be running on a gaming console. A few years ago, that concept might have been unthinkable. But with Microsoft’s push to put Windows 10 on every device it can get its mitts on, that is the reality facing Xbox One owners in little over two weeks. Xbox’s Phil Spencer announced that the major update will hit consoles starting November 12, bringing a revamped Windows 10 interface and much more.
And by “more”, we really mean backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games. Even Sony was taken aback by this early Christmas treat for gamers, impressed with the engineering skill Microsoft was able to muster to make it possible. It is perhaps one of if not the most awaited feature of this Windows 10 update, nearly doubling the number of games available for the Xbox One console.
Of course, that’s not the only change. It wouldn’t be called “with Windows 10” if it didn’t look the part. The entire home interface has been modified, rearranged, and prettified to resemble the same Windows 10 experience desktops and tablets, albeit fine-tuned for large screens. You’ve got an even heavier emphasis on text, a vertically scrolling home screen, and pull out side panels for notifications and shortcuts, just to name a few.
Microsoft also calls this the most social update to the Xbox One ever. Why? Well, probably because it puts social activity front and center, from your friends and messages to new Game Hubs for keeping track of what your gaming friends are playing. A new community area also a new Community area to keep in touch with the even bigger Xbox gaming world.
While the update does bring many more features, like Game DVR and Windows 10 streaming, not all promised features might actually make it to the cut. Microsoft earlier indicated that Cortana won’t be available to the general public until next year, though some users have managed to wake her up from her secret slumber.