what you need to know
- The Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles share an interface with a large button on the dashboard dedicated to bundling your digital games.
- The Xbox Insider Program allows Xbox users to try out upcoming versions of the Dashboard and other apps.
- The latest build of the Xbox Insider Program has made some improvements to the games and apps library and added a tabbed interface that separates content by source.
The Xbox dashboard has seen some interesting updates lately, perhaps most notably the inclusion of Discord as part of the Xbox Insider Program. This latest Xbox Insider Alpha Ring build has made some notable changes to the Games & Apps section, where you normally browse all of your installed content and available games to download.
The new UI overhauls the “Full Library” section of the dashboard, which was admittedly a bit cluttered in the previous incarnation. Now it has a fast UI with tabs and horizontal labels for different content pools, separating “My Games” that you bought directly from Libraries Xbox Game Pass or EA Play.
Each tab section has a theme with specific features for that content pool. For example, the full My Games list doesn’t necessarily need to show the “Recent Additions” or “Leaving Soon” filters, which is exactly what the Xbox Game Pass tab has instead. You still get the regular filters, with the ability to resize the tiles to fit more content into a single screen.
At the moment the tabs are as follows:
- All Games, which consolidates all content sources into a single library.
- “My Games” which refers to any content you have purchased.
- “Xbox Game Pass”, a license to which you have access as a result of this subscription. This section also includes Play Later, Recently Added, and Leaving Soon lists at the top of the Library.
- “EA Play” which can be purchased separately or as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This includes games from Electronic Arts such as Battlefield, FIFA and Mass Effect. Similarly, this has a Recently Added list, but also includes a Game Trials list for new titles that come with a 10-hour limited access feature as part of this subscription.
- Games with Gold includes all titles that are available to you as part of the Xbox Live Gold monthly free games package.
- Finally, there’s a section dedicated to apps like Netflix, Disney+, Spotify, and so on.
To speculate, Microsoft may have created this tweaked section to include other future gaming subscription pools in the library. Recently, Ubisoft+ assets were discovered by Lumia updates on Twitter in the back end of Xbox. It lends further fuel to previous rumors that Microsoft might be considering a partnership with the Assassin’s Creed publisher, in a collaboration that could be similar to Xbox Game Pass’s with EA Play. Ubisoft+ is already available as a separate service on PC, but can also be purchased as part of PlayStation Plus and even Amazon’s burgeoning streaming service Luna.
Increasingly, it looks like subscription services will be an important part of AAA publishers’ revenue streams, and the Xbox Games & Apps library change is most likely designed to accommodate that. Xbox has been working hard to add their own features and content Xbox Game Pass service with friends and family Plan just above the horizon.
The new Xbox Games & Apps library is available now as part of the Xbox Insider program and will likely be rolled out to the general public in the coming weeks.