Xbox has revealed its UI for the upcoming Series X console, sporting a look and feel that is faster than the home and store menus across its current generation systems.
In a news post by design head Chris Novak, the home menu will become familiar to Xbox One owners, sticking to Microsoft’s box-like designs for its items. This means games will have more details in 1×1 selectable icons and apps can be sorted in any order for quick access on boot. Friend activites will also be shown below recent games and messages will immediately show users where they are.
The Xbox Game Pass is also integrated with the home system and will give players notifications on the latest games that drop on the subscription. It’s also worth noting that the Xbox Series X will return with cloud-based streaming, and players away from their consoles can use it through a laptop or mobile device in the future. This also means the UI will be optimized according to laptop resolution and quality of internet connection.
Each menu, from the home UI to the Microsoft Store will also be much faster this time around. According to Novak, the Series X’s new hardware can push home screen navigation to 50 per cent faster on startup. Users coming back from a game can get back home with a fully-loaded menu with 30 per cent faster speeds, while the Series X will be using 40 per cent less RAM to do so when compared to the Xbox One.
“The Xbox Velocity Architecture and Quick Resume technology make games quicker to launch, and we knew we also wanted to make them faster to discover, talk about, and download – even while you’re away from your console,” Novak wrote, adding the Series X’s visual appeal includes snappier and accentuated words. Users can also customize some of their game icons, including color-coded frames, title fonts and size.
“Text is more readable, elements on screen are easier to understand at a glance, and accomplishing your tasks is faster than ever. This includes tile shape, fonts, an updated illustration style, and more. The overall layout of most of the console pages remains familiar, just faster and more focused,” he said.
Novak also detailed the revamped Microsoft Store, now sporting a closer and consistent look to the Series X’s home UI. Of course, it shares a simple vertical and horizontal browsing experience for games and applications while each price tag will be tacked on the bottom of each one. For price-savvy players, this could be a benefit while Game Pass subscribers would also see instant discounts for games (and the different in percentages). Scrolling down the store would take players across different genres (similar to department store aisles) and the latest games would be shown first along the row. Just like the Xbox One, players can pre-order titles and re-subscribe to services through the new store.
Friends will also be more involved over the Series X’s UI, with game invites becoming much easier to access with a one-click action once it pops up. Players can even connect their phones to the console with the Xbox mobile app to view notifications and check on game updates while they’re away. They can also send actions, including sharing a status or sending game videos straight to friends online.
The next-generation Xbox Series X is releasing sometime in November 2020 after a release window was announced earlier in August 2020.