Microsoft closed out 2013 by launching its Xbox One console
and selling more than 3 million units before flipping the calendar over to 2014. That's not bad for a gaming system that costs $500 and up, albeit not quite as impressive as Sony selling 4.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles
in the same time period, plus an extra week (the PS4 launched a week ahead of the Xbox One). Nevertheless, Microsoft is happy with those figures, and so now the focus shifts on keeping gamers happy with the Xbox One.
Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten revealed to Engadget
in an interview that Microsoft's first order of business is to improve the Xbox Live experience. Whitten says customers have complained that some features are harder to access on the Xbox One than they were on the Xbox 360, and addressing those complaints will be the primary focus of the first Xbox One update.
"The feedback we've gotten is pretty valid; some of the social stuff is hidden or harder to use than it was on the Xbox 360. So you're gonna see us come out with an update where, well, we're going to fix those things," Whitten said. "As a person who's been pretty involved in building Xbox Live for the last decade, I take it pretty seriously when people say it's harder to get into a party, and the defaults aren't right, and I don't like the model."
The buck doesn't stop there, though gamers will have to practice a bit of patience for some features. For example, Microsoft has long promised game streaming functionality, though it isn't likely to be included in the initial console update. Instead, Whitten hinted at there being a streaming announcement at E3.
Whitten also said that updates in general will come much faster this time around. There will still be the occasional big update, but in general, minor updates that speed up the system and/or add new features will roll out more steadily this time around.