The Xbox One's dashboard is getting a facelift ... and it's not pretty

Can Cortana make up for bad UI? Probably not

Xbox One fall update

Microsoft had a decent E3 2015. Between Xbox One backwards compatibility, a pirate-themed game from Rare and an incredibly cool demo that uses HoloLens to teach people how to play the new Warzone mode in Halo 5, it easily trumped last year's slew of ho-hum announcements.

The deluge of good news, however, meant that one announcement didn't get all the attention it deserved. The Xbox One interface is getting a do-over, and it will be even worse than it is now.

So how is something that most people tolerate, but don't really enjoy, going to get worse?

The interface is going to try and streamline the process of getting to your most-played games by burying everything else on a hidden menu on a tiny, one-quarter-of-the-screen window. Oh, and like Windows 8, it's still going to heavily rely on pins. Bad move, Microsoft.

Xbox One fall update

There's no place like home, thankfully

The current Xbox One home screen isn't anyone's favorite interface, but it serves a purpose: it shows what's in the disc tray, allows you to get to your media library without making too many extraneous movements and, with one flick of the control stick, show you which of your friends are online .

The new Xbox One home screen (which looks awfully similar to Windows 10's Xbox app) is a list of the most played games on your console with each title having three options, one of which will be used to direct you to paid DLC or add-on content. The other two will be used for the game hub - a feature introduced in the last big software update - and sharing media like game clips and screenshots.

Press down on the right trigger and you're taken to the pins section, a carry-over from the current setup. One possible interpretation is that the new layout, due to its more minimalistic nature, may be enhanced by pins instead of having them feel like a band-aid to a convoluted system interface. Pressing left trigger will bring you back up to the top.

Xbox One fall update

From there you can flick the left stick to the right to go into the Xbox One Community Feed, which has statuses, videos and pictures from your online pals, or flick to the left to pull up the ultra-minimalistic menu that has everything else, including Microsoft's personal assistant, Cortana.

The left-hand menu is essentially the new Xbox guide. It's where you'll find a Friends list, general settings, messages and a cursory look at who's in your party, and it's accessible from anywhere at anytime by simply pressing the center jewel on the controller twice.

Unfortunately, though, the new guide will only be useful to some users. Using Cortana, the top option on the new guide, requires you to have a Kinect plugged in and turned on at all times, something that many have felt hesitant about doing in the past.

Xbox One fall update

Xbox, go home

Change is hard. The Xbox 360 had an almost universally loved interface that incorporated both fun and playful elements like the avatars, as well as paid content and gamerscore onto the same screen. Microsoft hasn't found the same success with its current interface for Xbox One, and probably won't fare much better with the pared down new look coming in the fall.

It's not for a lack of communication, though. The Xbox One has the most frequent updates of any next-gen system other than your PC. But myriad changes like the spot on the homepage for DLC and continuously pushing pins on an unresponsive audience shows that, at the end of the day, Microsoft is going to do what it wants, even if it's not right for everyone else.

Microsoft's latest software update isn't DOA, but it's one bad decision away from a game-over.

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