An Xbox Series X controller rests against an Xbox Series X on a table.

Picture: Alex Van Aken (Shutterstock)

We did it for the Swap. We did it for the PlayStation 5. It’s solely truthful that we do it for the Xbox, too. Earlier this month, Sony introduced it’d purge the barely-used Accolades function from PS5, which allowed you to bestow awards on others in multiplayer video games. This spurred a thought train: What different options may get faraway from well-liked gaming platforms with out a lot fanfare?

The Xbox’s UI is fairly fine-tuned, having been honed over roughly a decade. (The Xbox Collection X/S makes use of the identical UI because the Xbox One; it’s common throughout console generations.) Nonetheless, there’s at all times room to trim. Listed below are the options Microsoft may purge from the Xbox with out inflicting a lot of an uproar.


Pin to Residence

The Xbox's Groups function shows Forza, Gears 5, and more games.

Whereas the Pin to Residence perform is certainly questionable, this isn’t an indictment of Teams, that are superb and may completely keep endlessly.
Screenshot: Microsoft

You’ll be able to pin any sport to the Xbox’s completely: Simply hover over its icon, faucet the hamburger button, and choose “add to house.” Perhaps there’s a use case I’m overlooking, however the logic behind this has at all times failed me. When you play a sport regularly sufficient that you simply want it pinned completely to your own home display, it’s most likely already on your own home display as considered one of your most-played video games. (The prime line of the Xbox UI reveals your six most lately used apps. Additionally your sport library is actually proper there.)

Sport Golf equipment

Each single Xbox sport has a so-called Sport Membership, accessed by viewing the sport’s “sport card” (within the menu that pops up after tapping the hamburger button) after which tabbing over to the “official membership” icon. Right here, you possibly can see information associated to the actual sport, from achievement-tracking lists to “information” tales (which you’ll at all times simply get out of your favourite gaming information web site). Within the Progress tab, you’ll additionally discover a to-the-minute depend of how a lot time you’ve dedicated to that sport—great things! So it’s not that Sport Hubs are solely ineffective, per se. It’s extra that they needlessly obfuscate info you really need, a facet that’s introduced into stark readability contemplating how readily it’s accessible on competing platforms, just like the PlayStation and Swap.

Skype

We’re nicely within the period of Zoom, however the omnipresent specter of a video chat app from like 5 web eras in the past hasn’t gone anyplace. Sure, Skype is very a lot on Xbox. My solely query right here is…uh, why? It’s partially meant to double as a voice chat different, I suppose, however just about each chatting possibility is healthier, together with Microsoft’s personal, or the lately added Discord integration (nice for crossplay).

Break Reminders

Positive, within the console’s settings, beneath the Preferences menu, you possibly can arrange automated break reminders in half-hour increments. (These notifications solely pop up whenever you’re taking part in a sport, however the clock begins counting the second you flip your Xbox on.) However c’mon, nobody needs their Xbox to behave like their mother and father. Additionally, free time is extra valuable than ever today. When you can fairly snag a number of hours to play video games consecutively, extra energy to you.

The Occasions tab

By default, the Xbox’s fundamental display features a line merchandise for Occasions, which supplies you a fast replace about whether or not or not any live-service video games are working energetic occasions. Proper now, my Occasions tab reveals particulars about occasions for Marvel’s Avengers, Ark: Survival Developed, and Future 2—two of which I’ve by no means performed on Xbox. (My Avengers account is on PlayStation; I’ve by no means touched Ark.) So, it’s clearly not at all times related. But additionally, in the event you’re a daily participant of service video games, you’re most likely going to study what’s taking place both by means of official social channels, information sources, or in-game.

Xbox Help

Xbox Help is a built-in encyclopedia of FAQs, suggestions, and different system-level guides. For example, in the event you pop open the Troubleshooters menu, you’ll see a walkthrough that’ll inform you find out how to begin a sport you’re having bother booting up, replete with an choice to verify the standing of Xbox’s on-line providers. However you possibly can’t maintain these guides open concurrently the a part of the Xbox you’re having the difficulty with, which means it’s important to both memorize the recommendation or juggle between two apps. Plus, everyone knows the one place people head to for simple solutions: Google. It’s far simpler to simply have all of this info on-hand from Xbox’s Help Web page in an online browser.

 

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