[UPDATE: Since the publication of this opinion piece, Microsoft has released a number of dashboard updates that rectified most of the issues]

 

[ORIGINAL STORY]

The Xbox One’s new dashboard, the one that mimics Windows 10, has been rolled out to the second wave of Preview participants over the weekend,  causing all kinds of frustration and heartache in the process.

The new dashboard, which clocks in at just over 1GB in size, transforms the current dash so it looks and operates in a similar fashion to the Xbox app on Windows 10 PCs.

But almost as soon as the software started to make its way to more participants, the problems, bug reports and ALL CAPS swearing started to flood in.

I was one of the (un)lucky few to have been granted access in this wave, and here are some of the problems I encountered:

  • After downloading the update, the ‘Applying’ process was stuck at 60%.
  • The dashboard’s controls have been choppy and unresponsive at times.
  • Community and OneGuide feeds fail to load.
  • The wireless adapter will occasionally be disabled.
  • The console will confirm that it is connected to the internet, but Xbox Live will fail to load.
  • The console will intermittently restart by itself.
  • Occasionally the entire dash will fail to load, only to display a pop-up stating that ‘It took too long to load’, resulting in a black screen.

These issues aren’t just once-off occurrences, by the way – they happen frequently.

To temporarily fix the issues mentioned above, I had to:

  • For the stuck ‘Applying’ stage, we had to hard reset the console twice, download the update twice and do a number of soft resets.
  • For the wireless adapter issue, we had to cycle the console’s power, waiting between five to 10 minutes before turning it on again – as per Microsoft’s suggestion.
  • Xbox Live not working, we had to disconnect from the internet and reconnect – hoping that it will work.

The most frustrating issue is the dashboard failing to load completely. If you are unlucky enough to have had the wireless adapter fail on you as well, there is almost no way to get to the dashboard if you aren’t connected to the internet. I got around the issue by plugging in a network cable, and hard resetting the console. Once it has restarted with the network cable in, the dash appears again. From there, you can enable the wireless adapter again.

On Reddit, there is an entire thread dedicated to the new software rollout with gamers giving their experiences, and providing a long list of the known issues – so far.

There are also a number of complaints on various Xbox and Microsoft forums, as well as on Xbox’s Major Nelson blog.

We understand that the new dashboard is still in its beta phase and that Preview participants had to opt-in to get it, but issues on this scale and severity borders on unacceptable.

Being in beta is one thing, but this update and its issues make it seem as if it’s in more of a pre-alpha release. We know that the issues aren’t affecting everyone who downloaded the update, but it’s affecting enough gamers for Microsoft to roll out a patch as soon as possible.

Just looking at Twitter, it appears I was definitely not alone in my misery this weekend:

Microsoft has slated the public release of the new dashboard for sometime in November, so there is still a lot of time for them to iron out all the issues.
But just a word of warning: make 100% sure that you want the new dashboard (issues and all) before you download it – if you are in the Preview programme – as you can’t roll-back to the ‘old’ dash.
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.