Xbox One March Update rolling out; brings Beam streaming, updated guide, more

Gaming / Xbox

After months of testing by users in the Xbox Insider Program, the Xbox One March Update will start rolling out to all Xbox users today. This is perhaps the biggest update to the Xbox One dashboard since the New Xbox Experience rolled out in November of 2015.

So what makes this update so big? It’s part of the Windows 10 Creators Update (which releases on PC on April 11) and includes Beam streaming, an updated, faster Guide, improvements to Cortana and more. Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Ring have been testing and providing feedback on many of these features since January and once you get used to the new Guide, it’s definitely faster to get around and into your game or app. Unfortunately, in my experience anyways, Beam streaming still has a way to go, primarily for the quality end of things. I still found Twitch streaming to be better quality, but Beam is definitely faster to launch and provides more instant interaction with viewers.

The first thing you’ll definitely notice is the updated look of the Home screen, as you can see in the video above. The UI was simplified to increase performance and optimize the Xbox Dashboard for speed. The second big change is to the Guide. Previously a double press on the Xbox button on the controller brought up the Guide, now a single press does the trick. The new Guide is streamlined as well making it easier to access your pins, background audio, achievements, messages, and more.

Multitasking is also getting a facelift and you’ll be able to add an achievement tracker overlay while playing your game, and Cortana also appears as an overlay as well. Last year, Microsoft acquired the Beam streaming service and that’ll also be rolling out in this update. Streaming via Beam is super simple and can be accessed by single pressing your Xbox button and scrolling down to the Beam icon. Other added features include a Copilot feature which allows two controllers to act as one for those with limited mobility, as well as being able to set screen time limits for children attached to your Microsoft family account.

Have you been previewing the Xbox One March Update as part of the Xbox Insider Program? Are you looking forward to the updates and Beam streaming? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Major Nelson
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