Microsoft is trialing an all-new Night Mode for Xbox.
As announced in a post on the Xbox News Wire, the new feature is only currently available for a select group of Xbox Insider testers. Alpha Skip-Ahead participants will be the first to give the new feature a go, an "invite-only" ring that receives preview builds of future Xbox One OS releases way before the public gets to see them.
Not only will Night Mode give players the option of dimming the UI on-screen, but it also adds a blue light filter to protect your eyes and offers the chance to dim the LEDs on both consoles and controllers too. You can even set your console to automatically disable high dynamic range (HDR) – the setting that determines the difference between bright colors and shadows on our TVs and monitors – at nighttime.
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"Night Mode has now been added as a new feature in Settings!" Microsoft explained in a brief summary on the official website (thanks, The Verge). "Users can now dim and filter their screen, as well as dim their console [and] controller LED brightness."
Analysis: Night Mode is important to the future of gaming
While you might not fully appreciate why we need Night Modes, your eyes probably do. Not only does the change in the UI palette – typically switching bright whites to black or dark greys – protect us against glare, especially at night, but filtering out blue light also helps protect against sore or tired eyes and potential headaches.
It can even help you fall asleep easier, too, particularly if your gaming sessions are lengthy ones. Yes, really.
You've probably already noticed the switch in some of your other devices, such as your laptop or smartphone, but similar settings for our gaming consoles have been a long time coming.
That's why a Night Mode is so important; the older we become, the more likely gaming gets relegated to an end-of-day activity, which means we often play way too late into the night, affecting both our mood and our sleep schedule.
Filtering out harmful blue light and dimming the brightness of the Xbox consoles' UI should reduce the strain on our eyes and make us sleep better. That's got to be a good thing, right?
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