The Xbox One June update is on its way, and the company has revealed that it will bring a number of new features, the most anticipated of which is support for external hard drives.
External Storage Support: gamers can expand their Xbox One’s 500GB internal hard drive with the addition of up to two simultaneously connected USB 3.0 hard drives. Users just need to connect a drive to the Xbox One, wait for the console to format the drive, and then gain access to the increased storage capacity. The only caveat is that each USB 3.0 drive must be at least 256GB.
As an example of this new feature, Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb tweeted a picture late Wednesday showing his Xbox One with nearly 6TB of capacity thanks to the addition of two USB 3.0 drives.
Microsoft also notes that users can load up their games and other Xbox content on an external drive, and then connect it to a friend’s console for instant access, provided the Xbox account associated with the content logs-in on the second console.
Assign Real Names to Profiles: to help keep track of growing friend lists, gamers can optionally assign their real name to their Xbox Live profile, with the choice to show it universally to your friends, to only a subset of friends, or not at all.
OneGuide Support for SmartGlass: the Xbox One SmartGlass app can now display and control the console’s television entertainment features, with the ability to change channels, schedule recordings, and reorganization your on-screen layout. There are also new options for receiving mobile notifications for key events, such as friend requests or when a friend starts broadcasting a live game stream.
Expanded TV and OneGuide Support: after piloting the expansion in April, the Xbox One’s TV entertainment features will expand in June to Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.
New Gold Membership Benefits: as mentioned last week, Microsoft hopes to increase its competitiveness with rival Sony by enhancing the value of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions. The company’s popular Games with Gold program will reach the Xbox One for the first time next month, and a new exclusive “hub” for Gold members will provide access to discounts on digital purchases, free content, and more.
As part of the changes to Xbox Live Gold, Microsoft is also decoupling the Gold requirement for entertainment apps like Netflix. Xbox Live members of any level will be able to access entertainment apps and the IE Web Browser starting next month.
Microsoft has yet to announce a release date for the Xbox One June update, but we’ll update you once we hear more.