Microsoft released two new features on the preview of the New Xbox One experience, now available only to select preview program members.
The first is the “Beta Games and Apps” feature, that allows preview members to test out games and applications before they get released to the general public. Program Manager Emily Hanson posted a handy FAQ in the private preview forums:
We’re excited to unveil a new feature in the Xbox Preview Dashboard app for New Xbox One Experience Previewers: Beta games and apps. Beta games and apps is your one stop to discover and download beta titles that are available to you as a result of your participation in the Xbox Preview Program, and check out related content such as Announcements, Known Issues, Quests, or Surveys. No more accidental deleted messages or codes to enter – getting a title is as easy as choosing the one you want, then pressing the “Redeem” button.
Today, we’re launching Beta games and apps along with the Xbox Community Calendar, an app built to help you better discover events occurring on Xbox Live. Over the next few hours, Preview members on the New Xbox One Experience will be able to find the Xbox Community Calendar app in Beta Games and Apps. Give it a spin, and let us know what you think!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is Beta games and apps?
A: Beta games and apps is a new feature on the main page of the Xbox Preview Dashboard app. It is your one stop to discover and download beta titles that are available to you as a result of your participation in the Xbox Preview Program, and check out related content such as Announcements, Known Issues, Quests, or Surveys.
Q: What kinds of titles will be available?
A: Beta games and apps will host beta versions of games and apps that are exclusive to Preview members. Today, we’re launching this feature alongside the Xbox Community Calendar, a new app that Preview members get to try out before anyone else. As more titles become available, they will be added to Beta games and apps.
Q: Who will be able to access Beta games and apps?
A: Preview Program members who are on the New Xbox One Experience can access Beta games and apps from the Xbox Preview Dashboard app. For our Preview members not yet on the New Xbox One Experience, fear not! Once you update to the New Xbox One Experience, Beta games and apps will be there waiting for you!
Q: Will I still need a code to download these games or apps?
A: No. Simply select the game or app tile from the list, and then choose Redeem, then confirm. If you’ve previously installed a title that’s available in Beta games and apps, or you are on another enrolled Preview console, Install will reinstall it.
Q: Will games or apps ever be removed from the Beta games and apps hub?
A: Once a beta has finished for a game or app, it will be removed from the Beta games and apps hub.
Q: What should I do if I have a problem with getting titles from Beta games and apps?
A: Let us know by using Report a problem, and we’ll take a look.
- With this initial launch of Beta Games and Apps, some NXOE Preview Members may find the section empty; this is normal, and will be resolved over the next few hours as the rollout completes. If you find the section empty, come back in a few hours, quit the Preview Dashboard, and relaunch.
The second new feature is the Community Calendar, showing Xbox-related events, news and feature in a handy calendar form. Again, we get the rundown on the preview forums.
Xbox Live is filled with passionate gamers who are constantly putting on awesome events for fellow fans. To help you, our fans, discover all that’s going on and get more involved, we are introducing a new, highly-requested feature into the Xbox One Preview program: the Community Calendar.
The Community Calendar provides a single destination to help fans easily discover hundreds of upcoming events, get involved, and meet others.
This app is where you’ll discover:
- Livestreams from community managers and guests
- Free stuff, like Games With Gold and free-to-play games
- Launch dates for upcoming titles
- Game With Fame (now broadcasted to Twitch!)
- Gatherings, which are community-hosted streams for you to learn strategies and meet other players
Events will be surfaced throughout the Xbox One dashboard, and the Calendar can also be downloaded from the Xbox Store.
HOW TO GET IT
The Community Calendar will be rolled out to Preview members (both on the New Xbox One Experience and the existing experience) over the next few days. Our members currently on the New Xbox One Experience can use the new Beta games and apps feature of the Xbox Preview Dashboard to get it. Previewers not yet on the New Xbox One Experience will receive an Xbox Live message within a few days.
Note: With this initial launch of Beta Games and Apps, some NXOE Preview Members may find the section empty; this is normal, and will be resolved over the next few hours as the rollout completes. If you find the section empty, come back in a few hours, quit the Preview Dashboard, and relaunch.
You are the heart and soul of this community, and we’re excited to hear what you think of this app. Try it out and get even more involved! Thanks for your participation in the Preview Program!
If you want to check out how the features look, you can find a few pictures below, directly from my Xbox One.