we did it for him Change. we did it for him Playstation 5. It’s only fair that we also do it for Xbox. Earlier this month, Sony Announced it would remove PS5’s barely-used Accolades feature, which allowed you to award prizes to others in multiplayer games. This stimulated a thought exercise: What other features could be removed from popular game platforms without much fanfare?
The Xbox UI is pretty fine-tuned, having been perfected over a decade or so. (The Xbox Series X/S uses the same user interface as the Xbox One; it’s universal across all console generations.) Still, there is always room to cut back. These are the features that Microsoft could remove from the Xbox without causing much of a fuss.
Pin to Start
You can pin any game to the Xbox permanently: just hover over its icon, tap the hamburger button, and select “add to home.” Maybe there is a use case that I am overlooking, but the logic behind it has always failed me. If you play a game often enough that you need it permanently pinned to your home screen, it’s probably already on your home screen as one of the most played games. (The top line of the Xbox UI shows the six most recently used apps. Plus, your game library is literally right there.)
Every Xbox game has a so-called Game Club, which is accessed by viewing the game’s “game card” (in the menu that appears after tapping the hamburger button) and then tabbing to the “official club” icon. Here, you can see information related to the particular game, from achievement watchlists to “news” stories (which you can always get from your favorite gaming news site). Under the Progress tab, you’ll also find a minute-by-minute tally of how much time you’ve spent on that game. Very good! So it’s not that Game Hubs are entirely useless, per se. It’s more than just unnecessarily obfuscating the information you really want, a point made all too clear by how easily it can be accessed on competing platforms like PlayStation and Switch.
We’re in the age of Zoom, but the ubiquitous specter of a video chat app from five internet eras ago hasn’t gone anywhere. Yes, Skype is a lot on xbox. My only question here is…uh, why? I guess it’s partly meant to work as a voice chat alternative, but pretty much every chat option is better, including Microsoft’s, or newly added Discord integration (ideal for crossplay).
Sure, in console settings, under the Preferences menu, you can set automatic rest reminders in half-hour increments. (These notifications only appear when you’re playing a game, but the clock starts ticking the second you turn on your Xbox.) But come on, no one wants their Xbox to act like their parents. Plus, free time is more valuable than ever these days. If you can reasonably snag a few hours to play back-to-back games, more power to you.
The Events tab
By default, the Xbox home screen includes a line for Events, giving you a quick update on whether or not any live service games are running active events. Right now, my Events tab shows details about events for marvel avengers, Ark: Survival EvolvedY fate 2—two of which I’ve never played on Xbox. (Me avengers the account is on PlayStation; I have never touched Ark.) So clearly it’s not always relevant. But also, if you’re a regular player of service games, you’ll probably find out what’s going on through official social channels, news feeds, or in-game.
Xbox Assist is a built-in encyclopedia of FAQs, tips, and other system-level guides. For example, if you open the Troubleshooter menu, you’ll see a tutorial that tells you how to start a game that’s having trouble starting, complete with an option to check the status of Xbox online services. But you can’t keep these guides open at the same time as the part of the Xbox you’re having trouble with, which means you have to memorize the tips or juggle between two apps. Plus, we all know the one place people go for easy answers: Google. It is much easier to have all this information at hand than Xbox support page in a web browser.
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