The New Xbox One Experience, an overhaul of the user interface and menus, is out today. Microsoft says the software redesign makes the console the “fastest and most social Xbox experience ever.” There’s a new home guide system that lets you check messages and futz with settings without leaving your game or media app. A new community section offers a ton of stalking and social media one-upmanship opportunities. Avatars, those virtual dress-up doll microtransaction sales catalysts, are back. Controller buttons can now be remapped. Finally, Microsoft has revamped the Game Hubs and the storefront to be more user-friendly and community focused.
Some of your old Xbox 360 games should also work in the Xbox One now. The list of compatible titles isn’t that long, but Microsoft assures us that more games will be added to the backwards compatibility feature in the coming weeks.
You can even enjoy multiplayer with friends playing Backward Compatible titles on Xbox 360. To start playing your Xbox 360 games on Xbox One after 12pm PST today, refresh your Game Collection to see your pre-purchased, digital Xbox 360 titles from the Backward Compatible title list in your ready to install queue or simply insert the disc for a supported Xbox 360 title and download the game to start playing it on Xbox One.
For now, the New Xbox One Experience is an optional download, although if you don’t update, you won’t be able to access some of the revamped services. On the 23rd of November it will be a mandatory update. It’s about 1GB in size and there is also an update for the wireless controllers.