Microsoft details Xbox One October update features

It feels like September has hardly gotten started and Microsoft is already talking about the October update for the Xbox One. A lot of the tweaks for next month seem designed to make the system easier to use for folks who don't have Kinect; probably changes that Microsoft should've made before rolling out the Kinect-less SKU, but better late than never.

For example, with Kinect you can just say "Xbox, record that" to capture a video clip, but right now doing the same thing with a controller requires you to snap an app to start the recording (if someone knows an easier way, please share). Once the October update rolls out you'll be able to double tap the Xbox button and then hit X to record the last 30 seconds of video.

The September update added the ability to play media files on the Xbox One with a promise of DLNA support sometime in the future. Good news! The future turns out to be October, as this functionality is added in the October update.

For more on the new features check out the Major Nelson blog or this preview video:

Unbundling Kinect, bundled game deals and constantly updating the system seem to be paying off, at least according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter. A post at VentureBeat recaps Pachter's note to investors. He claims Xbox One sales were up 14 percent month over month, to 150,000 units, in August. In the meantime Playstation 4 sales dropped 14%, according to Pachter, to 175,000 units.

The news from Japan, where the Xbox One recently launched (on September 4th), isn't so good. According to Famitsu (via Ars Technica) Microsoft sold just 23,562 units in the first four days of the system being on sale in Japan, making it, if not the weakest Japanese console launch ever, at least the weakest in recent memory. It's worth noting that the Xbox brand has never been particularly big in Japan, but still...ouch.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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