If you don’t like the Xbox One now, just wait a month — it may change into something you do like.
Microsoft is sending out an update for its latest home console starting today. This patch will bring support for external storage devices as well as real names for your online friends. The June system overhaul will also enable any Xbox One owner to access media services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video without needing to subscribe to Microsoft’s premium subscription service, Xbox Live Gold. That change is also coming to Xbox 360. Microsoft is consistently improving and iterating the Xbox One to stay competitive with Sony’s extremely popular PlayStation 4.
“Both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 system updates will begin rolling out globally this week,” Xbox evangelist Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb wrote in a blog. “[This will give] fans more ways than ever to enjoy the best in gaming and entertainment with Xbox.”
The June update is the latest in a series of monthly patches for the Xbox One. Microsoft isn’t done, either. The company plans to continue releasing monthly bundles of improvements as it responds to fan complaints and desires.
While the Xbox team is continually working to improve the console, most of the monthly updates have focused on adding features that are already in the PS4. These include the capability to livestream gameplay video to Twitch as well as the real names and external storage — these are all functions that Sony’s device had when it debuted in November.
June’s Xbox One patch will also fully enable the Games With Gold program on the system. This service enables anyone who subscribes to Xbox Live Gold for $10 per month (or less if you subscribe yearly) to download two games each month at no additional charge. This is similar to what Microsoft has on Xbox 360, but unlike on that device, Xbox Live Gold members will lose access to their Games With Gold releases if their subscription lapses. If that sounds familiar, that’s because Sony does the exact same thing with PlayStation Plus, which is its premium subscription service.
The first Games With Gold on Xbox One are available now. They are the physics puzzler Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and shooter Halo: Spartan Assault.
With Microsoft iterating on the Xbox One every month, Sony looks a bit sluggish. The PlayStation company has already updated its latest console to version 1.70, but it still isn’t on as rapid of an improvement schedule as Microsoft’s box. The Xbox One’s changes has also actually forced Sony to respond. In the wake of Games With Gold coming to Xbox One, Sony announced that it will start giving PlayStation Plus subscribers two games each month on PS4, PS3, and Vita.