New Xbox One Experience arrives on November 12th with backwards compatibility in tow

If you had asked me last week if Microsoft's "New Xbox One Experience" (NXOE) was going to be ready for its scheduled launch date in November, I would've told you "No way." Heck I would've bet money that it was going to be delayed.

I would have lost that bet, thought. During their big Halo 5 launch show on Monday the company announced that the NXOE would arrive on November 12th. That's two weeks from today, for those of you with no calendar handy.

The NXOE overhauls the Xbox One dashboard, making snapping less of a focus. If you've used the Xbox app on Windows 10 you'll have a good general idea of what the Xbox One will feel like come November 12th. You still have to snap some apps, but things like the Friends list and Party features can now be accessed via a 'slide-in' panel on the left. If you're on the dashboard just push left on the controller to open these features, and if you're in a game you double-tap the Xbox button.

Along with the NXOE comes backwards compatibility. Microsoft has said there'd be 100 Xbox 360 games playable when backwards compatibility launches, with more added over time. If you own digital copies you can just download the BC versions. For games you own on disk, you'll have to pop the disk into the Xbox One but still download a digital version of the game. The disk just acts as a copy protection mechanism, basically.

Microsoft has also said that Xbox 360 "Games With Gold" freebies will be backwards compatible going forward. This month that means Dirt 3 (on Nov 1st) and Dungeon Siege 3 (on Nov 16th) so I guess we'll see on the 12th if they work using the new backwards compatibility feature.

As of the last update there are still quite a few "Known Issues" with the New Xbox One Experience preview builds, but it could be that internally they already have most of these addressed. In any case I suspect the engineers working on this update are going to be in crunch-mode between now and November 12th. Hopefully the launch will go smoothly.

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon