Microsoft has announced a significant overhaul of its digital store for Xbox, and the end result is a much faster browsing experience and easier navigation. “Much more than a typical app update, we’ve rebuilt the experience from the ground up to be faster, safer, and easier to use than ever before,” said Cody Bird of the Xbox team in a blog post.
The new Microsoft Store app for Xbox will roll out to some Xbox insiders on August 5, before expanding to other testers in the coming weeks and eventually reaching all Xbox One owners – and the Xbox Series X – this fall. For me, the current store can really be a hassle to browse, and this feels like a huge step in the right direction.
The new store is considerably faster than the current version. Microsoft says it is “more than twice as fast as before” and can load in less than two seconds – sometimes even less than a second. It has been restructured to make it easier to get to the desired section with the Xbox controller. The navigation pane on the side is similar to the Xbox app for PC. You can get a good idea of all the changes by watching the Major Nelson video below.
The revamped Xbox Microsoft Store has been fully optimized for the Game Pass era and now shows more details about a top-level title as you browse without digging deeper. The design can better emphasize deals / selling prices and makes it easy to compare different editions of a game, if any, to know what you get with each choice.
There is attention for parental controls; users should now be signed in to browse the Xbox store, and content filters should ensure that younger players in your house don’t see anything inappropriate.
Microsoft has also come up with some smaller, useful additions. There is now a ‘recently viewed’ section that will allow you to go back to a game that you have considered but have not yet added to your wish list.
“The new Microsoft Store on Xbox is just the first of many updates to roll out over the next few weeks, all built to keep the gamer at the center of the entire gaming experience,” said Bird. Microsoft is expected to announce a cheaper Xbox Series S sometime this month as it continues to prepare for a holiday in a showdown with Sony’s PlayStation 5.