Microsoft announced that they will be making some huge changes to the Xbox One Guide/Home button that usually takes you to the dashboard. The new function will greatly increase the ease of use for navigating menus and increasing quality of life accessibility.
Gamespot picked up the news from a post made over on the Xbox Wire from Xbox platform engineer Mike Ybarra, who explained that the new function for the Guide button won't just take you home on the Xbox One anymore. Instead, when you tap the button it will quickly pull up the sidebar, similar to when you would activate the Snap mode early on in the lifespan of the Xbox One's release.
The sidebar will enable you to perform a number of task no matter where you are in the Xbox One -- whether you're recording footage, playing games, voice chatting with your party or browsing through the Xbox Store. The sidebar overlay will enable you to do things like modify the GameDVR settings, so you can optimize how your game captures are setup, as well as access Cortana, Microsoft's AI companion app.
The overlay for the Xbox One will also sport friend options, Gamerscore tabs and additional quick-controls for the Xbox Music feature, so you can easily and quickly access certain options, menus and Xbox One features without any problems.
The whole point is to make the Xbox Home/Guide button a lot more user-friendly and give it more purpose while you're gaming or performing other tasks with your Xbox One. It ties into the other quality of life feature for gamers who play on Windows 10: Game Mode.
This was teased/leaked a while back by various sources; that Windows 10 would receive a Game Mode that would allow for better performance in games and make it easier for gamers to get more out of the visual qualities of their game.
This also ties into the new Beam feature shared between Windows 10 and Xbox One, which can be accessed by pressing the Guide button (see how it's all coming together now?). The Beam is a streamlined process in which gamers can easily live-stream their games. Once you connect your Xbox Live account to Windows 10 and Xbox One, you can easily access the option to live-stream with the simple press of a button. If you're using an Xbox One controller on Windows 10 you just tap the Home/Guide button and select the broadcast option. If you don't have an Xbox One controller, you pull up the menu by pressing the Windows + G combination to access the game bar and select the broadcast option.
These QOL features tie into Microsoft's aim to further homogenize the Windows and Xbox operating landscapes to bring them together.
A lot of these updates and features will be coming soon to the Xbox One and Windows 10. Most gamers may not easily recognize them until they're already there, but it all fits in line with Microsoft's aim to improve the under-the-hood performance of both systems. This is also likely preparatory work for the launch of the Xbox Scorpio later this year.