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'Mercury' is the code name of a large Xbox Store update, coming soon

Mercury Xbox App
Mercury Xbox App (Image credit: Windows Central)

Recently an Xbox Insider Program update made an app called "Mercury" available to a few testers, with a splash screen that just reads as "Coming Soon. Please upgrade to access the latest and greatest."

I received a few messages about it, and thought I'd try and find out some more about what it is and what it does, since some had speculated that it might be something related to Project xCloud.

After doing some digging, it seems that this app is the codename of an upcoming Xbox Store redesign, rebuilt from the ground up on new architecture, designed for 4K TVs. This new store app is also destined for use on next-gen systems like the Xbox Series X, and long-rumored Xbox Lockhart, as well as current-gen Xbox One systems.

Source: Windows Central The Xbox (Beta) app on Windows 10 is far sexier than the current Microsoft Store app. (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

From what we've seen so far, the design of the "Mercury" store app is almost identical to what is available on Xbox One consoles today, with many of the changes appearing to be under the hood. It's possible that more features and design changes will occur as the app moves closer to public testing, especially given the "modernized" design language we see in apps like the Xbox (Beta) app and Xbox Game Bar on PC.

If you try to install Mercury from the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab) to your console right now, the download simply fails. But it probably won't be too long until testers in the Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead rings are able to take a closer look at it.

Once we learn more info, we'll be sure to offer some updates here in the near future.

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Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

13 Comments
  • I hope there will be a Microsoft Store redesign coming as well, with Fluent design update changes and even improving its backend to improve performance, reliability and work on that not so great search engine used for Microsoft Store. It's sad that it is practically abandoned, but if Xbox team can make better Store, I think its best if they handle Microsoft Store as well and just go back unify it instead of having 2 different brand of Store, especially on Windows 10. Windows 10 X will still come and Microsoft Store will be still a crucial part of it to download apps. Yes sideloading apps by getting exe/installer would work through containers, but you don't get native Windows apps for those.
  • Yes!!! I love UWP and the fact that the same code running on PC and Mobile is on Xbox, but the experience on Xbox is absurd and highly disappointing. My Xbox One should have no hiccups running its own app store, and yet it has far too many to keep me in the experience, and it makes my Xbox 360 seem faster. PLEASE make a quality redesign and please port it to Windows computers!!
  • Rounded tiles in brick stretcher bond pattern? WTH. No
  • it looks like PlayStation now :(
  • LOL you guys are funny... :)
  • How exactly? PlayStation 4 UX is still drastically different from Xbox or Fluent Design. PS4 UX is more of flat design which Metro was, but with Fluent Design this isn't the case. Though Flat Design not skeumorphic, but still features shadows and but of a depth and artificial textures.
  • What a shame that would be ;)
  • Hopefully they'll include the actual prices of games in the store instead of saying included with gamepass or EA pass all the time. It's like they don't want me to buy things.
  • That's exactly what they want. They would rather have subscribers.
  • I guess it seems intentional that using Game Pass is more highlighted than buying it. You can still do it, but it's not the recommended option. Not sure if this redesign changes that. But hopefully at least they nail first the essentials like better performance, better search, and more visually appealing Store UI. Microsoft Store in Windows 10 and 10 X (same code base) badly needed this as well. We are not asking for innovative changes in Store, but at least update to current Fluent Design iteration and improve its performance and search.
  • Install progress bar should be more accurate as well, unsure if it's just the way the app handles downloads.
  • Thats totally awsome, the store on Xbox One has a very poor performance, but also makes me think that the new xbox will no have UWP suport.
  • Yeah, considering currently it is the codebase on Windows 10 which isn't even known for its performance (to be fair it got better). This is a needed update. About apps, hopefully we can still do that which makes Xbox quite unique and something going for it more than a gaming console. Having apps on the Store shouldn't impact its performance since its basically just another content, and Store should be capable on handling huge amount of contents.