Microsoft finally implemented the New Xbox One Experience, and Director of Program Management Mike Ybarra gave an estimate on when the next big update will come in the latest episode of Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb’s podcast.
Ybarra revealed that the team is already looking at what the next monthly update after the Holiday season will look like. They had the meeting on its feature set on the same day as the New Xbox One Experience released, and they want to make it public as soon as possible to get a lot of feedback.
That said, there isn’t going to be a big system update in December and in January. The next big one is coming in February. The reason for that is that Microsoft wants stability during the Holidays, with lots of people buying new consoles and games. According to Ybarra, it’s not the best time for consumers and for the team to have new features
Interestingly, we also heard on how backward compatibility was made possible by the team at Xbox.
“Two and a half years ago, our engineering team didn’t think it was possible. We took a set of engineers throughout a lot of experiences at Microsoft, and we asked them… Phil did a great job. He knows that the engineering team likes to be challenged. They like to try to do the impossible.
Phil challenged them, said “spend some time on this and let me know if it really is impossible, or if we can find some solutions somewhere.” About six months into the investigation, a couple of engineers had a breakthrough, and that allowed them to sort of see the light at the end of the tunne and say, “wow, we’re gonna get some momentum now,” and accellerated progress started happening.
A lot of those ideas are patented right now, so we don’t like to go into all the details, because it is very confidential engineering, but it really was that moment, and some people can remember the day in which we got a couple of things working, and some of the games up and runnning. We were like “maybe we can do that.”
Two years later, I think the team is really proud of what they’re doing, and now it’s just a matter of people voting and making sure that publishers know that they want certain games in the program.”
Hyrb mentioned that even if a game is the top of the requests, it doesn’t mean it can be implemented instantly, as there’s “a lot of paperwork and conversations that have to happen.”
Ybarra continued by explaining that there are cases in which a publisher doesn’t have the rights to the music anymore, or for some of the assets in the game. That makes things more complex and that’s why those titles won’t be available shortly after the release of the feature.
He also mentioned that the team is working as hard as they can, doing negotiations with the publishers, so that the feature is updated very regularly with new games.