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Xbox October update brings 4K dashboard for Xbox Series X, Night Mode and more

Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft detailed everything the Xbox October 2021 update is bringing for users to enjoy.
  • One of the biggest features being added is a 4K dashboard for Xbox Series X users.
  • Another huge addition is the Night Mode feature, which is placed under the accessibility options.

Microsoft shared (opens in new tab) everything coming in the Xbox October 2021 update on Thursday. Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Xbox One users will be getting a wide variety of new features to play around with. While perhaps not quite as big as the prior update, there's still a fair bit to go through.

Here's the three big features being added this month:

  • 4K dashboard on Xbox Series X. Xbox Series X players will be getting a 4K dashboard, a huge leap up from the current 1080p user interface the console uses. This means cleaner icons, less jagged edges on text and just a better image all around, especially for anyone currently using one of the best 4K TVs available.
  • Xbox Night Mode. All platforms will be enjoying a big new accessibility feature in the form of Xbox Night Mode. This isn't just an on-off switch but a whole collection of settings that can be individually tweaked, from the brightness of the screen to the light on your Xbox controller.
  • Quick Settings for accessibility. As part of Microsoft's committment to improving accessibility on Xbox, the previously announced Quick Settings feature is on the way. This allows players to change out or tweak accessibility options from the menu, rather than having to hunt through settings and abandon whatever game is currently being played.

More features are currently in testing and are likely to show up in future monthly updates. One big feature being tested right now is a tagging system for accessibility, which allows users to sort through games using verified tags, checking for particular features on a game or app.

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

11 Comments
  • Hell yeah! I'm looking forward to the night mode especially. The 4K dashboard is welcome as well 😊.
  • Aw man, why can't the Series S do 4K dashboard? Surely it's not so resource intense that it can't...
  • Because Microsoft don't want it to.
  • Same with the One X, should be able to handle it no problem too
  • It had to do with resources mainly ram, for the lower (less then 16gb ram) devices it would impact gaming.
  • I can't wait to turn that damned controller spotlight off!!!
  • I actually have never had an issue with the brightness in the dashboard, it's only when I load a game from the dashboard and the initial logo screen is bright white that I start fearing for the safety of Gondor.
  • Minor additional request with 4k: HDR. It's not that I care if the menu is actually using the HDR color set (it's just a menu, after all), but that the screen goes black for a moment when it switches between non-HDR and HDR for games and streaming services that support HDR. Given that now most games and services are in 4k with HDR, the menu should be too to minimize the screen blacking.
  • I see ppl saying this all the time but I've never noticed this on my HDR 4k TV. Are you using LG? I'm using a Sony 900e.
  • It does depend on the TV, but all TVs do have to refresh the panel for HDR images. Some are just faster than others. I get about a half a second or so on my LG CX. My older Samsung seemed like it did it for 2 seconds.
  • I get this on my LG, it's whenever it's switching modes. I'm not overly fussed because it's no different to a PC switching resolution for games or whatever. But I can understand how it would irk some people.