Microsoft's banging out another big Xbox One update, it appears, announcing plans to release two big features that owners of the console have been requesting since launch. In June Xbox One owners can expect to download a patch enabling external storage devices on the console, as well as the ability to share and see the real names of those on their Friend List. Also, and this is my favorite, there will be an option to have a specific account logged-in when the console starts. No more positioning your face perfectly in front of the Kinect to get a proper log-in.
Breaking the updates down a bit, the Xbox One external storage update will allow only USB 3.0 hard drives with 256GB or more storage space. This day and age, hard drives like that are not so rare, but I'm sure there are a few folk with smaller hard-drives that will find that limitation a bit frustrating. Microsoft's justification is that players will be allowed to download entire games to the hard drive, pluck it from their system and walk it down to a friend's house to play. USB 3.0 speeds are necessary for that kind of instant access to games (as well as log-ins and discs on top of it).
The idea of "Real Names" can be pretty intimidating, considering the controversy that's revolved around the idea for some time now. Battle.net's Real ID, anyone? It seems like Microsoft really wants this to be a secure, private and highly customizable feature however. Each user can decide how they want to share their name, if at all. Whether that be to the entire Friends List, Friends of Friends, or only individual, special folk. In-game it won't make a difference, because games will continue to use gamer tags and ignore real names entirely.
Other junk coming in the June patch includes an update to the Xbox One SmartGlass App, which will allow folk to use their cell phones, tablets and even the PC as a universal remote when the Xbox One is on. This is all in relation to using the Xbox One with a cable box or DVR, of course. You don't magically get TV with an Xbox One or SmartGlass.
The update will also prepare for the upcoming Xbox One's Gold subscription changes, creating a new hub for players to check out the benefits and games included with the monthly Games With Gold program. Then of course there's the auto-login I mentioned earlier. Ah, that's still my favorite part.
Expect this latest Xbox One patch to roll out in June. When in June? Who knows. Hopefully early to tie into the Games With Gold stuff. Maybe Microsoft has a surprise in store and will announced the patch is live at E3, and the patch has turned everyone's Xbox Ones into gold. Or something. Cheers to Microsoft for their hard work patching their console.