New Xbox Store for 2020: Hands-on with the fluent-y 'Mercury' goodness

New Xbox Store Mercury
New Xbox Store Mercury (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft is gearing up to showcase a brand new Xbox store for consoles in the near future, dubbed codename "Mercury." @WinCommunity over on Twitter managed to get a look at the new Xbox Store app first, showcasing the awesome fluent design and refreshed iconography to match apps like those found on PC and Project xCloud.

Now, we've been able to go hands-on with the app for ourselves, getting a deeper idea of where Microsoft is planning to take Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles with their designs in the future.

The app takes solid cues from the Xbox (Beta) app and new Xbox Game Bar on PC, with rounded corners, a new, bolder font, and tons of acrylic blur. The UX is fully animated at every turn, which feels far more "fun" than the previous app, which is arguably clinical, designed primarily for functionality than the experience.

Every major Xbox Store feature we could think of remains present, including reviews, filters, trailers, screenshots, general database information, and more. It even extends to Microsoft's Movies & TV store, as well as the app store specifically for Xbox. Ironically, this is now a better app store than the Windows 10 PC Microsoft Store itself, which is in dire, desperately need of its own overhaul.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

There's no word on when this new experience will come to Xbox consoles, but we have heard it's meant to be coming to Xbox One S, Xbox One X, and Xbox Series X as a single unified platform. Since this app leaked as part of the Xbox Alpha Ring test program recently, I'd suggest that it's nearer to public testing on the Xbox Insider Program rather soon.

What do you think of the new design? Would you like to see this sort of design overhaul hit the Microsoft Store on PC? Let us know in the comments.

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Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at 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!

  • love this design!!!
  • This design is better than the old clunky design
  • Surprised they would release this design ahead of the Series X. Gotta wonder if the SX will have another new UI.
  • I bet it will be something similar to this since it would be too out-of-place if we still have the same current Xbox UI. Beyond visual changes, I hope we will get way better navigation layout and faster performance navigating through UI. I think Xbox were at least far more consistent and more polished when pushing UI updates. Compared to Windows team and other Microsoft apps, where they have pretty much own interpretation of their own design language and not very consistent all throughout.
  • Amazing! But this colored glow on highlighted controls just feels like it doesn't belong to the app's design.
  • Yeah, hopefully that's not final. It does looks off and I think it looks like that because the invisible UI shaped like that. I like the full width menu highlight which is far more pleasing and they currently do this on current Xbox UI since they updated with Fluent Design 1.0.
  • I think that is meant to be your Xbox's accent color.
  • i was about to comment about it. it really doesn't. Hope they will modify Acrylic translucent into more Shiny like a glass.
  • The video sure does look better than the still pictures of it. I hope this speed stays, especially when using the Series X.
  • can they just make it simmilar to what ps4 has?
  • why? just buy a PS4
  • Exactly I don't like the ps store ui
  • Irrelevant to the store, I need that Skelattack game, it looks awesome.
  • Thought excatly the same. This game looks amazingly good.
  • Love to see this and far more animated that the current old Xbox Store (Microsoft Store rebranded). I hope they will rather update Microsoft Store and have something similar to this UI. And it looks more responsive as well, at least on the demo PC used. Microsoft Store hasn't been updated for a while, and the performance is still bit slow despite having NVMe drive and there are still areas that UI is unfinished or unpolished.
  • Interested to try this. My only gripe is, and be aware that I haven't tried it yet, is that MS is a bit poor on filters and sorts. They're currently not great. One other thing I hope this fixes are the icons for features of the game. Probably just me, but they use two different types, and it drives me potty. Look at if a a game has achievements, sometimes it's coloured in, sometimes not. Drives me mad.
  • Fair point, hopefully they see this feedback. Put it in the feedback hub when the time comes!
  • i really love this design!!!!!
  • Please be faster than the slug that is the current Xbox store app