Xbox One system update in June will bring external drive support and more

We’ve loved our Xbox One consoles since getting them last November. That said, Microsoft has made us love them even more with frequent updates. The May update starting rolling out a few days ago that introduced a sound mixer for apps, an opt-in to improve speech recognition and the ability to download system updates as soon as it’s available. Yesterday we also learned that Skype could now be snapped on the Xbox One. Today we’re learning what Microsoft has in store for the Xbox One next month. Details on external hard drive support and more after the break!

External drive support was always in the pipeline for the Xbox One, Microsoft just assured us a future update would enable that functionality. A few days ago, an anonymous Xbox developer posted a picture to Reddit that showed off the external drive support. Now Microsoft is going official with the timeline for when the update will be available.

The next big system update coming in June will bring two of the most-requested features: external hard drive support and real names for identifying friends. There’s more coming of course, here’s all that Microsoft has coming next month for Xbox One owners:

External storage support

Starting next month, your Xbox One storage increases however much you want it to. You can store apps and games on your external storage. The Xbox One will support up to two hard drives at once. All you need to do is plug in your USB 3.0 drive that’s 256GB or larger. The Xbox One will then format that drive so you can move and copy games, apps and game add-ons to increase your storage capacity.

Bonus: You can take your hard drive to your friend’s house to play your game on their Xbox One console. You’ll just need to sign in with your Microsoft account. Hashtag winning.

Real names for Xbox Live friends

On Xbox One, we can now have 1,000 friends and an infinite number of followers. But how do you tell which of your friends is ‘xXLadySlayah69Xx’ or ‘GeneralSham’? You don’t unless you have a killer memory. Thankfully next month you’ll be able to see the name of your friend over their Gamertag. Of course this is a privacy setting that you control, so it’s up to you. Plus in matchmaking games your Gamertag will still be displayed so strangers won’t know who you really are.

SmartGlass gains full access to OneGuide and Universal Remote Control                                                                         

We’ve all been testing out the Xbox One SmartGlass Beta app on Windows Phone. That beta app is going gold and will see a lot of its features carry over to the release app. This means you’ll see the entire OneGuide experience and Universal Remote Control in SmartGlass.

TV and OneGuide expanding to more countries

Great news for our friends all over the globe. The TV and OneGuide features will be available in June to all our pals in Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. This update brings OneGuide, Favorites and App channels to those who connect their TV to the Xbox One via the HDMI-in port.

New Gold Membership changes

We’ve detailed this before, but next month is when it’s happening. Microsoft is dropping the Xbox Live Gold Membership for those who want to use apps like Netflix. They’re also adding a new hub for those with Gold who want to get the free games from the Games with Gold program.

Automatic sign-in

Next month you’ll be able to have your Xbox One automatically sign in to a specified account. A much needed feature and one that will be welcomed by those without a Kinect sensor to do that for them.

What do you think of the changes coming to Xbox One next month? Which one are you looking forward to the most?

Source: Xbox (opens in new tab)

Sam Sabri
  • Hell yeah!!!!
  • About time!!! :)
  • Off topic, when's Twitter for WP 8.1 due?
  • Post I the forums.
  • Will we be able to play video files off the XB1 like we were able to on the 360?
  • Dont think so yet
  • This is a joke. The XB1 was shown off as this multi media console for your home and yet you still can't plug in a USB to watch your films or listen to your music!!! Glad I kept my 360 now for just this purpose
  • Well its the only way to get companies to play nice is to keep pirating to minimum
  • My Xbox One already signs in automatically. It is available in the settings. :)
  • Not for people who choose to not use kinnect
  • Those are silly people. I couldn't even imagine using Xbox One--or any console for that matter--without the convenience of Kinect.
  • I can imagine myself using an xbox one without using a kinect
  • Yeah, obviously a lot of people will be buying the console without Kinect.
  • Are you sure? 70% of PS4 owners bought an Eye. Why would "a lot" of people not buy the superior peripheral?
  • Yes, I am sure. The vast majority of core console gamers have no interest in motion controls. Many of them resented the Kinect's inclusion in the first place. And even if their distaste for the control style wasn't a factor, the hundred dollar price difference would be. Unbundling the Kinect will make a huge sales difference. It paves the way for the Xbone to more evenly compete with the Playstation 4 and even (analysts predict) surpass it in the US. But what is your source for that percentage? I'd like to check it out.
  • Willing to bet that 90% of those disliked it just because their friend on IGN said so
  • Is that a real statistic? 70% paid $60 for a crappy web cam but complain that the xbox one cost $100 more when you get a kinect that can do so much more than the crappy web cam. This proves people are idiots.
  • I'm 70% he is mistaken. Actually, 99 percent.
  • W/ Kinect. But without Kinect identifying you, no.
  • Where is 3D blu-ray capability?
  • Yeah, waiting for this as well...
  • Please 3D Bluray support now!
  • I am so excited to see this side of Microsoft.  It is agile, dynamic, responsive, and it is producing cool stuff.  I've always been a fanboy, but now it is for more than just their software, server, and peripheral stack.
  • +822&360
  • LOL.... my phone & my console
  • same! good combo
  • I'd like to know when us 'lucky' Aussie Xbox One owners can finally start turning on our consoles using the 'Xbox on' voice command. I'm a bit miffed about this to be honest...
  • Still cant play local networked media, no thanks.
  • +1
  • You can, you have to push it to the One using dlna. The 360 was capable of pulling, not sure why they removed the ability but you absolutely can play networked media if you push it (PlayTo is what MS usually refers to it as)
  • They didn't "remove" it. They just haven't had time to implement it yet. It's not like when you make a new OS that everything in the previous OS automatically magically is present and functional.
  • If that's true, then great. I use smart glass almost exclusive to control my box so setting up something like Plex or AV Remote to remotely push files to the Xbox isn't inconvenient. Its actually no different than how most smart tvs operate, or even Chromecast for that matter.
  • Shhhh, you're making sense. Folks can't see this isn't the 360 2.0
  • Plex is coming.
  • The feature I want most is the ability to play video and audio files from my network. I still need my PS3 to read files from my media server.
  • No propiertary harddrive?  nice.  Slowly but surely, MS is getting back in the game with some real good decisions. 
  • What's with the local files this and that? Just use the internet to watch porn. No reason at all to skip the Xbox one for that. Just be patient, its still in the planning.
  • While its of no concern to me personally, I don't see it as unreasonable to expect a current gen console to do what its predecessor could. Especially when said console is being touted as the "One box to rule them all." However, you also got to applaud Microsoft for their sudden sense of urgency in getting these updates out in a reasonable amount of time.
  • It's a understanding wait for it thing. Xbox One runs on 3 different OS's. So like Microsoft said. It's a careful proces to bring the new features to Xbox One. For some not for some it is. Imo. Better wait and it will be good than rush things. Yes! Microsoft does a great job since the One has been released. Like the Skype snap feature that Sony's PS4 just can't handle. They will continue to grow that difference what only Xbox One can do.
  • I hope they bring theme support back because man does the XB1 UI reminds me of windows phone 7.0 with is terible flourescent color choices from the NES days...and 1 less background color than WP which is a huge 50% difference in choice!
  • About time! Now, it has a lot of the features the PS had, while having features the PS doesn't have. :)
  • Will they please just give me back my NAS support. I have a windows media server for Gods sake. And I already purchased an XBox Music pass and Live, so they've been paid 10 fold. I'm happy with the monthly updates but they're about to make me angry doing everything they can to encourage (Force) people to access media through their XBox services only. And no, I don't want to DLNA throw my movies from my surface to my XBOX ONE all the time. I mean, I'm about to plug my 360 back into my XBOX ONE home entertainment slot and move on.
  • This is actually a big thing holding us back from getting one. I use the 360 for most of my streaming and pushing media is pretty hit or miss for us.
  • I still don't see the use of the real name crap. Gamertags for the win!
  • Did you real the article? The real name is for your personal friends so you don't have to memorize which friend goes with which name. Gamertags are still shown to strangers.
  • I read* the article. Again, I see no need for this, I know who my friends and their gamertags are. Not really any effort for it.
  • It is just one more thing Sony's console can do that MS' can't. Reviewers and gamers alike complained that real names weren't there. I wasn't asking for this, but enough did for MS to add it.
  • Is there a limit to how much storage you can have from an external drive like the 360?
  • 256gb and up. Major nelson tweeted about a 3Tb Seagate drive that he's been using.
  • I guess he talked about 4TB
  • Will the PS4 have external storage?
  • Shame on Sony if they're not working on this, even the Wii U and now the XB1 supports external drives.
  • Niceeeeee
  • Smartglass beta updated with those features yesterday for me. Can also reorder your pins.
  • Man, xbox is cool but i only play Counter strike GO and Arma 3 which aren't available on consoles and consoles doesn't have keyboard + mouse support...
  • ...........
  • Being able to download my xbox videos is a much needed feature!  Please implement this soon. It's about time they made auto sign in an option.
  • funny how automatic signin was a standard feature on the Xbox 360, then for theXBone it got removed because of its dependency on Kinect visual signin, and now they're bringing it back. microsoft seems to be backtracking on a lot of things lately.
  • Still waiting for the next phase in the beta preview! ;)
  • Sweetness!! Ugh, I need to start in working to buy mine. ;)
  • Best. News. Ever.
  • C'mon MS! 3D Blu-Ray soon please.
  • "Xbox, screenshot" would be nice. Also, I was skeptical about Kinect, but now I couldn't imagine using my Xbox without it. "Xbox, on. Xbox, watch tv. One guide. What's on comedy central. Etc." All while I'm taking my boots off. Love it.
  • I'm in Canada had a one guide last month...
  • Streaming games to a 2ndary device on the same network still no where insight. But oh wow, you can snap Skype... Because sitting in a stationary location in front of a fixed position camera to video chat is apparently something unheard of. I WANT to give MS my money, but not giving me any reasons yet.
  • Cop that ponies.
  • Neeeeeedd