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?