Xbox One November Update Promises More Personalization

Next month, Xbox One owners will be able to customize their gamer profiles, tweet game clips and follow top trending TV shows on Twitter.

Xbox One

In November, the Xbox One Home screen will look very different for some users than it did when the console launched nearly a year ago.

Larry Hryb (Major Nelson), director of programming for Xbox Live, announced that next month's update will feature a handful of options that allow users to personalize their Xbox One experience. First is the ability to change the background on the Home screen. Apart from some color choices on the interface's tiles and the ability to pin apps, Xbox One gamers have largely shared the stock look since the device arrived in stores on Nov. 22, 2013.

That changes in a few weeks, said Hryb in a blog post. "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," he wrote. "You can choose a custom color or achievement art as your background on Xbox One, with more customization options coming down the road." The update is available now for members of the Xbox One preview program.

In an accompanying video, Hryb and Richard Irving, a Microsoft group program manager with the Xbox Engineering team, detailed how gamers set new backgrounds, but caveats apply. In the case of achievement art—bonus imagery awarded when certain conditions are met in a game—users will have to have earned the related achievement. An upcoming update to the Media Player will enable users to set any image as a background, revealed Irving.

New customization options are also coming to the Xbox Gamer Profile. "You can now share your location and bio as part of your profile," stated Hryb. Profiles, which can be viewed by other Xbox Live members, will also feature showcase items, a collection of six selectable game video clips and achievements "that will be displayed in a carousel format."

As first previewed earlier this summer, Microsoft is planning to finally flip the switch on the Xbox One's Twitter integration.

Once users link their Twitter accounts, they will be able to share game clips on the popular microblogging service using the Share button. Preview users in the U.S. can also view which TV shows are currently generating buzz on Twitter with the new Trending tab appearing in the OneGuide.

The Trending tab also displays the top 20 most watched TV programming for preview members in the United States, Canada and the U.K. "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," explained Hryb.

Rounding out the updates for November are Store enhancements aimed at making it easier to find and buy content, new SmartGlass (the Xbox One mobile companion apps) activity tracking and content purchasing features, and Internet Explorer improvements.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...