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Xbox One finally getting external storage & European OneGuide in June

Jonathan Lester
Firmware updates, Microsoft, Xbox One

Hard drive space is already becoming a concern on both new-gen consoles, with all games requiring full installs in order to function. Thankfully the Xbox One will be compatible external hard drives as of next month's firmware update, along with the long overdue arrival of the OneGuide applicaton here in Europe.

We've got it all after the break if you don't want to subject yourself to Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb in the video above.

First up, the June update will allow each Xbox One console to simultaneously support two USB 3.0 external hard drives of 250GB capacity or higher. Once formatted, you'll be able to "copy and move games, apps and game add-ons to increase your storage capacity at home." As this generation starts to shift into gear, we expect that this extra space will come in seriously handy.

Microsoft also suggests using external hard drive to bring games and content around to a mate's house - so long as you sign in with the appropriate account on their console, naturally.

European Xbox One owners will also soon have a reason to use HDMI passthrough with the arrival of OneGuide app. This feature lets you control TV listings and set top boxes with voice commands, finally fulfilling the console's "all in one" remit. Until now, it's basically just been a waste of electricity on that front. More tweaks, improvements and SmartGlass support have also been promised: turning your phone into a universal AV remote once you've downloaded the app.

Xbox Live will also support real names as of next month: i.e. that you can optionally display your name rather than just your GamerTag. It's becoming an increasingly popular way to find friends online and often helps to 'detoxify' an online ecosystem, though will be strictly optional. You can choose whether you want everyone, just friends and followers or no-one at all to be able to see your real name, if you happen to be a superhero or understandably just value your privacy.

Yet perhaps the biggest update of the lot is that we can automatically sign in a particular account by default - no waiting for Kinect while loitering about on the main menu. Lovely.

Microsoft have been making some welcome improvements to the Xbox One user experience over the last few months, but their abandonment of Kinect as a mandatory part of the ecosystem will require a serious rethink. The interface currently only makes sense with voice commands - spreading functionality throughout innumerable standalone applications and nested menus rather than bringing them together in intuitive ways, such as the Xbox 360 'Guide' menu. We may need to see it return.

Nevertheless, we're still pleased that Microsoft are working hard to improve the console. Thoughts?

Add a comment12 comments
Late  May. 21, 2014 at 16:04

Decent update.
I've no interest in automatic sign in (Kinect signs me in nice and fast anyway, if I'm in the room) but I guess that'll be handy for folks without a Kinect.
I like the real names thing. I've long been hoping for an option to "tag" friends, as I can't remember who several of them are. This'll do nicely.
Nice to see external storage added. I'll not bother any time soon, but it's nice to know the option's there for the future.
And the Smartglass improvements might prove handy. I've not used it much, but it makes sense with the TV remote features and the ability to drap&drop your home icons.

Late  May. 21, 2014 at 16:12

On a probably completely unrelated note has anyone had any problems playing blurays on their xbox One lately?

I'm finding only about half of mine are being recognised.
Not sure if it's related to an update (bearing in mind I'm on "preview"), or if I maybe have a faulty unit, but I bought a new film yesterday and it wouldn't work. Tried 8 others - all of which I'm sure I've watched on the console in recent months - and only 3 worked.
The new one worked fine on my stand-alone player.

I powered off at the wall for a while, and uninstalled/reinstalled the bluray app, but it didn't seem to make any difference.
I have reported it to Microsoft.

Last edited by Late, May. 21, 2014 at 16:29
Late  May. 29, 2014 at 10:47

Bit the bullet.
My Xbox One is being replaced by MS under warranty.

Anarchist  May. 29, 2014 at 12:08


I still need to get my controller repaired under warranty. I've not had many issues with the drive, although it has a couple of times claimed it couldn't read a disc.

But then its also claimed it wanted me to insert the correct disc when starting a digital game a couple of times as well...

JonLester  May. 29, 2014 at 12:12

Sorry to hear that Late, hope you get it sorted. Out of interest, how was your experience with MS customer service?

@Anarchist: Are you in the firmware preview program? One of the updates had major disc drive errors a couple of months back - they've been fixed now AFAIK.

Last edited by JonLester, May. 29, 2014 at 12:12
Anarchist  May. 29, 2014 at 12:27

Sorry to hear that Late, hope you get it sorted. Out of interest, how was your experience with MS customer service?

@Anarchist: Are you in the firmware preview program? One of the updates had major disc drive errors a couple of months back - they've been fixed now AFAIK.

No - not in the preview programme. I joined the preview programme for the 360 but it caused me nothing but hassle (well, it moved me from MSP to £££ early, which I didn't want) so I stayed out of it for the XO. It's not done it for a little while though now.

Also, I heard MS make things awkward for us to return/get faulty controllers replaced. Somebody mentioned they expect us to post them back to the Netherlands or something, and we have to pay postage. And then you also lose the day one controller, they just send a normal one back. If I wanted to get it replaced under my warranty with amazon, I would have to send the entire console back just to get the controller replaced...

Not sure how much truth is in that though, just what I heard from somebody who claimed to have gone through it.

Last edited by Anarchist, May. 29, 2014 at 12:28
JonLester  May. 29, 2014 at 12:33

@Anarchist: I suspect that you would have to send the entire thing back to Amazon - and their 30 day replacement has probably expired by now. By the looks of the official MS FAQ, you can probably register your system and peripherals and request a controller repair (right down at the very bottom) - though I'm afraid that I don't know whether they'll force you to jump through a thousand hoops. The warranty on accessories does last a year, mind.

Last edited by JonLester, May. 29, 2014 at 12:34
Late  May. 29, 2014 at 12:39

At first I noticed most of my blu-ray films weren't being recognised. I later discovered most of my game disks aren't recognised either. I'd occasionally had a problem with them in the past, but ejecting and putting them back in would fix it - and it was a rare problem.
I don't think I actually tried a disk (film or game) in over a month before last week. I've mainly just been playing Titanfall, and a bit of Trials - both of which I bought digitally.

I initially reported the problem in the "preview" forums, and was told developers will look into it - but at that stage I wasn't sure if it was a hardware problem or if it was just software (and possibly related to software version 1405). I got no advice in that forum - but that's fair enough - it's for reporting possible software problems.

Yesterday I updated to software version 1406 (preview of June's release) and was still getting the same problems, so decided it's time to report it as a fault. I've been reluctant to report it as I don't like the idea of being without my console for a few weeks.

Spoke to someone on webchat last night, about 12.30am. She got me to try lots of stuff (reset MAC address, unplug everything for a couple mins, etc. - most of which I'd already tried) then agreed it needs to be repaired or replaced.
She told me that I could get an exchange, where they'll send me a new console and then I'll send them the old one afterwards - but I'd need to 'phone the UK repair people (0800 number). I rang that number today, and the chap I spoke to went over some details then said he'll get a new console sent out to me, and I'll have 2 weeks after delivery to return to them the faulty console.

Can't argue with that kind of service.

JonLester  May. 29, 2014 at 12:42

Sounds good, Late. Hope that you won't have too much hassle getting all your content onto the new system - with luck the automatic XBL cloud saves will make that painless enough!

Late  May. 29, 2014 at 12:46

Thanks. Fingers crossed.
Hope Virgin won't mind the 300gb or so of games/apps/firmware I'll be downloading on day one. ;)

Anarchist  May. 29, 2014 at 15:49

Thanks. Fingers crossed.
Hope Virgin won't mind the 300gb or so of games/apps/firmware I'll be downloading on day one. ;)

...Either that, or wait till they release the firmware update to allow us to use external drives! Not sure how more people aren't raving about that one.

Late  May. 29, 2014 at 17:55

Shame I have no USB 3 drives kicking around. I already have that firmware.
Damnit, now I want to buy another HDD. Like I don't have enough of those already. (Got several spare usb2 drives.)

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