Monday, September 26, 2022

New Xbox Series X homepage layouts are rolling out – and fans aren’t happy

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Microsoft is rolling out new homepage layouts to Xbox Insiders, but the response so far has been largely negative.

Multiple variations of the new homepage will be made available to Xbox Series X|S Insiders over the coming months. A global launch is expected to come in 2023, as per the official announcement on the Xbox Wire blog (opens in new tab).

What’s likely the first of many new layouts looks to have some decent quality-of-life updates. The Home dashboard now has dedicated tiles for the Microsoft Store and the Settings app. As it stands, these are typically found further down the menu, or buried in the ‘My games & apps’ section.

Despite these improvements, Xbox fans don’t seem too keen on the changes so far. The most common complaint on Twitter (opens in new tab) shows a dislike for the tile clutter that blocks out much of the background wallpaper. Others still hate the continued inclusion of ads taking up space on the homepage.

(Image credit: Microsoft)Is the new dash really that bad?My two cents? I really don’t think this new homepage layout is all that bad. I’m a fan of the wider ‘Jump back in’ section at the top that appears to be taking full advantage of Xbox’s Quick Resume feature. I also really like having quick access to the Settings menu. And finally, we have a search bar that isn’t tucked away in the Microsoft Store.

It’s definitely not perfect, though. I agree that the continued inclusion of an ad tile isn’t all that user-friendly. That space could be better served as a quick access point to Xbox Game Pass, for example. Maybe even a tile reserved for achievement suggestions, or parties with friends we can join in the moment.

I think ads always look a little strange when plastered on the Home UI like that. Often, they’re not even tailored to the games I’ve actually been playing. They should really be featured in the Microsoft Store app, where players are most likely going to be shopping for a new game or DLC anyway.

But hey, this is what the Xbox Insider program is for. This is just the first of what will likely be many UI layouts in the run-up to 2023’s refresh. Hopefully, this implies that the Xbox team will take on feedback to further fine tune the dashboard until it’s ready for prime time.

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Rhys is Hardware Writer for TechRadar Gaming, and while relatively fresh to the role, he’s been writing in a professional capacity for years. A Media, Writing and Production graduate, Rhys has prior experience creating written content for app developers, IT firms, toy sellers and the main TechRadar site. His true passions, though, lie in video games, TV, audio and home entertainment. When Rhys isn’t on the clock, you’ll usually find him logged into Final Fantasy 14, Halo Infinite or Sea of Thieves.

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