What do you want to know
- Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles share an interface, with a large button on the dashboard dedicated to sharing your digital games.
- The Xbox Insider Program allows Xbox users to test out upcoming versions of the Dashboard and other apps.
- The latest version of the Xbox Insider Program brings some improvements to the games and apps library, adding a tabbed interface that separates content by source.
The Xbox Dashboard has seen some interesting updates lately, including perhaps the inclusion of Discord as part of the Xbox Insider program. This latest Xbox Insider Alpha Ring build has made some notable changes to the Games & Apps section, which is usually where you’ll browse all your installed content and games available for download.
The new interface revamps the “Full Library” section of the dashboard, which was admittedly a bit cluttered in the previous incarnation. Now, it sports a quick tabbed interface with horizontal labels for different content pools, separating “owned games” you’ve purchased directly from libraries like Xbox Game Pass or EA Play.
Each tab section has a design with specific functionality for that content pool in mind. For example, the full “owned games” list doesn’t exactly need to show you the “recently added” or “leaving soon” filters, which is exactly what the Xbox Game Pass tab has instead. You still get the regular filters as before, with the ability to change tile sizes to fit more content on a single screen.
Currently the tabs are:
- “All Games”, which consolidates all content sources into a single library.
- “Owned Games”, which refers to all content that you have purchased.
- “Xbox Game Pass”, which corresponds to the licenses to which you have access thanks to this subscription. This section also has listings for “Play Later”, “Recently Added”, and “Leaving Soon” at the top of its library.
- “EA Play”, which can be purchased separately or as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This includes games from Electronic Arts, including Battlefield, FIFA, and Mass Effect. Likewise, this has a “Recently Added” list, but also includes a “Trial Play” list for new titles that come with a 10-hour limited access feature as part of this subscription.
- “Games with Gold” includes all the titles you can grab as part of Xbox Live Gold’s monthly free games offer.
- Finally, there is a section specifically for apps like Netflix, Disney+, Spotify, etc.
To speculate, Microsoft may have created this simplified section to incorporate other future game subscription pools into the library. Recently, Ubisoft+ assets were discovered by Lumia Updates on Twitter in the Xbox back end. This further fuels earlier rumors that Microsoft may be exploring a partnership with publisher Assassin’s Creed, in a collaboration that could be similar to what Xbox Game Pass has with EA Play. Ubisoft+ is already available as a separate service on PC, but can also be purchased as part of PlayStation Plus and even Amazon’s nascent streaming service Luna.
Increasingly, it looks like subscription services are going to be a big part of AAA publishers’ revenue streams, and the change to the Xbox Games & Apps library is most likely designed to accommodate that. Xbox has been hard at work adding features and content to its own Xbox Game Pass service, with a Friends & Family plan just on the horizon.
The new Xbox Games & Apps library is available now through the Xbox Insider Program and will likely roll out to the general public in the coming weeks.