Well, we’re pretty much two-thirds of the way into 2015, and there’s been a lot of excitement coming from a lot of corners in the gaming industry this year. As with many gaming announcements, however, Xbox’s major changes and releases are coming in the later months – here’s a few to look forward to getting your hands on before the year is up!
1. Xbox One’s New User Experience
Something that should be very familiar to Xbox veterans is a series of regular updates and refreshes that the team behind the console implement multiple times in its lifespan. The first major change to the Xbox One dashboard is coming this Fall for all consoles, bringing Cortana in as your personal assistant (who doesn’t want that?), the return of Avatars in a big way, a redesigned Home screen, an updated Community section and an all-new Xbox Guide screen!
2. Xbox’s Killer Lineup
Xbox is boasting their “best-ever lineup in history” with the selection of games coming in the latter portion of this year and a few bleeding over to next year. The recently-launched Rare Replay went down a storm and there’s plenty more on the way including Halo 5, Forza 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider, plus 2016’s Quantum Break, Halo Wars 2 and Gears 4. With these backed by their entourage of other exciting releases, including a strong Indie catalogue, Xbox has some of the best exclusives coming its way in the near future.
3. Xbox One Elite Controller
Coming soon is Xbox’s debut first-party controller designed specifically for those players who want more out of their hardware, with a whole heap of built-in customisation features. Using the new hair-trigger locks, interchangeable paddles on the back of the controller, remappable buttons, better grips and swappable components including the thumbsticks, players will be able to adapt their gamepads to suit their playstyle, whatever it may be.
4. Backwards Compatibility
A feature that was originally left out of the new generation of consoles, Backwards Compatibility is coming to Xbox One later this year. Starting out with a catalogue of over 100 games, this new feature will allow Xbox players to download their favourite Xbox 360 games and play them in what is effectively an Xbox 360 emulator. This also allows players to talk with their friends still on Xbox 360 in Parties whilst they play their backwards compatible games.
All this is free of charge, and simple as anything – if you own the game and it’s in the catalogue, you can download it once the feature goes live. If you have it digitally, it’ll show up available for download, if you have the disc, put it in your Xbox One and you’ll be prompted to download it. It couldn’t be any easier to enjoy the games you love, whether they be past or present.
5. Windows 10 Integration
Unlike other consoles, Xbox One has a family connection to one of the biggest computer operating systems in the world – Windows! With that relationship comes some great integration with all Windows 10 PCs through the newly-updated Xbox app. Brand new features like streaming gameplay direct from your console to any Windows 10 PC on the local network and cross-platform Party Chat between Xbox and PC players brings the two platforms closer together than ever before. As is the nature of the digital age, many updates are likely to come, so who knows what other new features we could expect to see in the coming months and years?
And there you have it, 5 exciting reasons to be an Xbox gamer this year. Of course, there are many more – what else do you think should be on that list? Let us know in the comments!