At the start of July Microsoft rolled out one of their best months of Games with Gold yet on the Xbox One offering both Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and So Many Me — a campy and very fun indie game. Some speculation has arisen regarding how or if Microsoft will be able to top that and a rumor began to spread on 4chan.org supposedly leaking the Games with Gold for August.
The image on /v/ shows both Ryse Son of Rome: Legendary Edition and Slash Dash for the Xbox One as well as Fallout New Vegas and Catherine on the Xbox 360.
While the games rumored are not particularly outlandish, the likelihood that Ryse would include all of its DLC is unfortunately too good to be true.
In addition, Slash Dash has released less than a week ago and Microsoft has yet to handicap an indie title like this so abruptly after it’s initial release.
Perhaps the biggest giveaway is the incorrect Xbox 360 circle logo at the top left corner which is an older design using a darker gray.
Xbox’s Games with Gold will soon be officially revealed, and while there is still a glimmer of hope that this rumor could be true, it’s really just a blind shot in the dark. Check out MajorNelson’s blog for official word on what the next selection of free games will be.
Update: Phil Spencer confirmed that this is not August’s Games with Gold lineup.
Microsoft has been keen on adding notable features each month and though the quantity of major features in the updates died down for a while, some significant additions are on their way in the Xbox One March update.
The previously teased screenshot feature is finally coming to fruition in a similar fashion to the “Xbox, record that” feature users can either say the command or double tap the Xbox button and press Y to save a still image.
Managing the saved screenshots operates similarly to videos with an updated Upload app that will allow users to view past screenshots and set any of them as a user’s custom background.
Also new to customizing the UI, transparent tiles will now have a varying slider to adjust to the exact level of transparency desired.
Outside of system changes, the social features are undergoing some changes with suggested friends being added to friends lists. Microsoft is looking for gamers to expand their Activity Feed so more worthwhile content will appear in the friends app.
As friends list increase, those who want more control over privacy will get it with name sharing changes. Now players can elect to either let the entire Xbox Live community see their real name or they can opt for just their friends.
Also being added is the much-needed “Report Spam” feature. Since the release of the console spam messages have grown in popularity and now users can select specific messages to mark as spam as Microsoft looks to cut down on fake accounts.
Microsoft is always improving their new console, and though some suggest some hefty changes to the console coming with the new Windows 10, the Xbox division is still churning out some substantial updates.
In the February update, Microsoft has added both cosmetic and functional features. For preview members, they’ll immediately take note of the transparent tiles if they have a custom background.
The new tiles were hinted by MajorNelson in a twitch.tv stream in mid-December, but beyond just the dashboard plenty more notable features have come as well.
“Game Hubs” are now incorporated into every game on the Xbox Store — adding a variety of content easily accessible related to each title and function similarly to the user profile pages.
Xbox users will have the option to follow their favorite game just as they do players. Gameclips, broadcasts, player leaderboards, and game VIPs are also displayed on each title’s Game Hub page.
The TV features are also getting a collection of small improvements as well.
OneGuide for the Netherlands – Support for OneGuide will continue in preview for the Netherlands and the missing channels for the Netherlands OneGuide listings will become available over the next few weeks.
TV trending in OneGuide – As you scan the detailed OneGuide TV listings, you can see which shows are trending by a “Trending on Xbox” note and associated icon. Xbox – live TV trending is based on the number of Xbox One owners currently watching that show in each country, pulled from anonymous data collected at a national level. Currently, Xbox TV trending is available to all members in the U.S., UK and Canada.
Live TV trending (new countries) – France, Germany, Brazil and Mexico will begin seeing live TV trending data in Xbox OneGuide.
Improved control of TVs, set-top boxes and audio/video receivers – Xbox One will work even better with more devices. This month’s preview release contains updates to the IR blasting database for new models and addresses issues reported by our fan community.
“Trick play” with Xbox One Digital TV Tuner – Preview members with the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in supported countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) will now be able to see video frames when fast-forwarding or rewinding paused TV on your Xbox One consoles.
Live TV streaming on Windows Phone and Android – We are continuing the preview of live TV streaming on Windows Phone and Android devices for Xbox One Digital TV Tuner owners in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Microsoft continues churning out great additions with their upcoming November update to the Xbox One.
It doesn’t seem like the story ever changes for Microsoft. Their support and response to fan-feedback is unparalleled and this new update just emphasizes that even more.
Some of the most requested features from fans — custom backgrounds, vastly improved profiles, and improved TV features as well are being incorporated into the console in next month’s update.
A bit more personalization certainly is nice to have, and the custom backgrounds will give players the ability to choose the art of any unlocked achievement or their personal profile color as a replacement for the original black homescreen backdrop.
The custom backgrounds was originally teased by Phil Spencer in a TiC podcast and it is coming earlier than his hints even suggested. It seems we’ll have to wait at least another month for the screenshot feature that Spencer also promised though.
The profile details return to that of the Xbox 360’s profile system with a bio and location available again to keep the social aspects of the console growing as well.
In regards to social growth the Xbox One will now have Twitter integrated directly into the UI. Sharing your own recorded game clips directly to Twitter is now a possibility. This addition complements the feed which in itself is very similar to twitter. It should not be all too surprising to see Twitter continue to grow on the console and no one should rule out posting directly to twitter from the feed.
Full list of updates below per majornelson’s blog:
Show Who You Are – Some of the most requested features being released this month include the ability to customize your Xbox One background and showcase and share some of your favorite achievements and game clips.
Custom Backgrounds – The #1 fan-requested feature is making its initial debut for preview members. For the first time, each account on your Xbox One can have a customized background. You can choose a custom color or achievement art as your background on Xbox One, with more customization options coming down the road.
Gamer Profile – You can now share your location and bio as part of your profile. You can set these options on your Xbox One console and use Xbox One SmartGlass to browse to other people’s profiles and check out their showcase items. Additionally, you can now select a set of showcase items that are displayed when other gamers look at your profile on an Xbox One console. You can use Xbox One SmartGlass or Xbox One console to add or remove up to six game clips or achievements that will be displayed in a carousel format.
Tweet about your Favorite Game Clips – You can now share your favorite Xbox One game clips with your followers on Twitter. Use the Share button on any game clip you have created and select Twitter to compose the Tweet.
A New Way to Watch TV – With new Live TV and Twitter integration, you can discover new shows to love and see what people are saying on Twitter about shows in real-time.
Live TV Trending – Starting today for preview members in the U.S., Canada and the UK, a new tab will be available in OneGuide that displays the top 20 most watched TV shows, with the list filtered down to the shows that are currently available to you based on your OneGuide settings. The Live TV Trending list is updated by the minute, so you can easily discover shows that are popular with other viewers. The Trending tab in OneGuide is updated to display Twitter – Live TV trending first and Xbox – Live TV Trending second. You can tune to a specific show by pressing the A button.
Twitter TV Trending – New this month in preview, you can see what Live TV is trending based on the highest number of tweets. Twitter TV Trending will initially be available to preview members in the U.S.
Xbox TV Trending – The Trending tab in OneGuide is updated to display Twitter trending first and Xbox – Live TV Trending second. Xbox – Live TV Trending is based on the number of Xbox One owners currently watching that show in each country, pulled from anonymous data collected at a national level.
Tweets in MiniGuide – See the actual tweets for the Live TV shows in real time and quickly find the Twitter #hashtag to join the conversation.
Recents and Favorites in MiniGuide – MiniGuide has been updated to include your favorite TV channels in a combined Recents and Favorites area and MiniGuide can now be activated via voice by saying “Xbox Select – MiniGuide” while watching TV.
Store improvements and SmartGlass updates – We are also excited to roll out these cool features:
Store improvements – The Store pages on Xbox One have been improved to enable you to more quickly browse and find content. The navigation buttons were moved to the far left so you can find them easier. You can also more quickly find game add-ons, perform store specific searches and recommendations are more prominently displayed. Finally, store categories have been standardized so you can easily see the top items in each query at a glance.
Friends’ Game Activity on SmartGlass – You can now see a list of your friends that have played a given game within the Xbox One SmartGlass experience.
Games with Gold & Deals with Gold on SmartGlass – For gamers with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can browse “Free Games with Gold” and discounted content with Gold and initiate download of the content to your Xbox One console from your mobile device.
SmartGlass Store Improvements – We added a new section for Apps to make it easier to find and download apps for your Xbox One, as well as adding a Coming Soon filter for Games and Add Ons to make it easier to see upcoming Xbox One releases sorted by anticipated release date.
Internet Explorer updates – There are a few improvements Internet Explorer available this month:
Snap IE – From the Address Bar in Internet Explorer, you can now easily snap from a full screen experience and move Internet Explorer into snap mode.
Featured sites – Now, Internet Explorer will show a number when something is newly-added to featured sites. Newly-added sites will also display a badge until you launch them or seven days have passed since the site was added to the Featured list.
Updates to the Preview dashboard app – We’re gamifying the Preview dashboard. Here are some new features we are adding:
My Stats – If you are in the Preview program, you will now earn points for providing feedback, including points for completing Quests, Surveys, Quick Poll questions, and rating the update. These will be shared in the Preview dashboard under My Stats. The more points you get, the more you level up, and the more rewards you’ll earn. Keep checking back for special bonus point opportunities.
Leaderboard – We’re also adding a leaderboard that shows how you stack up against your friends based on the points you have earned. If you don’t have friends in the Preview program, we’ll show how you stack up against others in the program. Keep checking back – more things are coming to the My Stats page soon.
The new reddit app for Xbox One is just one of 45+ entertainment apps due to come to the console by the end of the year.
ReddX, currently available on the Xbox One store, brings the extraodinarily popular social-network/user supported news site to the big screen. With an easy access image viewer, embedded youtube videos, and voice command functionality entirely built in, the app is surprisingly in-depth.
Even achievements are available on the free app and they add a nice personal touch in the achievement screen. Xbox Live’s MajorNelson poses in the style of various memes (and it looks delightfully hilarious).
Snap functionality will also be included, those who enjoy watching live streams on twitch, viewing sports, and certainly many others will find the app very useful to snap along side your main content.
With an app like ReddX coming to Xbox One it’s a good sign to see the console’s app library expand to more general apps, though right now the application is subject to occasional advertisement videos that temporarily interrupt users as they browse the app.
Still, ReddX has been generally very well-received and is an awesome addition for reddit users and Xbox One owners alike.