Get ahead of the Xbox Ones’ learning curve

Microsoft’s new console is not the same beast as the last one, and with a change in behaviour comes a whole new way of interacting with the system. In some ways, it acts more like Windows 8, such as pinning tiles right to the main screen.

Larry Hyrb, AKA Microsoft’s Major Nelson has just put out a video showcasing some of the best ways to move around the system – and being a tech person myself and only discovering this very morning that double-tapping the big X button switches focus between the main screen and a snapped in app (2:40 in the video above), they really need to get this info out to people.

Using voice commands can be very helpful, and all commands issued to the Xbox itself (and not the game you’re playing or the app you’re in) are prefixed with “Xbox,”  it is easy to forget what commands do which things. Some are second nature to me at this point, and, as the video points out, the menu button offers you the equivalent to a “right-click”, or “what can I do with this?”.

There are certainly numerous improvements and enhancements to the Xbox One’s software, and given that all of these functions are separate applications now we’re hoping it will give Microsoft the agility to bring new features quicker without having to fully update the entire operating system with each minor update.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, at a young age I was forced to decide whether the harsh northern winters were going to claim my fingers, or to turn to the safer pursuits of indoor activities. Little did I know that a little game called Ninja Gaiden would bring my digits more pain than frostbite ever could. Starting with Vectrex and C64 games and moving forward through the era of electronic entertainment, I sampled as much as I could in the different platforms, and began my interest in PC gaming from wrestling with DOS memory management.

While console games were a part of my earliest gaming memories and I certainly had played on most platforms including 3D0, all things Nintendo, PS1 and the like, truly the PC was my domain until the Xbox. As an old PC gamer, I ever chased the cutting edge technology. Eye of the beholder with CGA 4 colors was my first step down the the path of blowing thousands of dollars on PC upgrades over two decades. Ultima 7, with the Guardian talking to me through my monitor, still haunts my dreams and keeps me ever hoping for a decent Ultima 8 and 9. From the 3DFX SLI VooDoo2s and Aureal to today's GPU driven DirectX games, the new and shiny pictures seem to keep me going. My PC gaming has slowed down with the market shift though, and although I have choice games that will ever be on PC, I have found myself in console gaming with a bit of portable gaming in my life.

Back around the turn of the millenium (and long before fatherhood), I had fired off an email offering to help Ron with a little-known site called ConsoleGold. Little did I know it would be be a part of my life to this day. While I've seen my fair share of shovelware (thanks Ron!), I manage to try and find the fun in most games. Leaning towards sandbox and action titles, I've grown to love games for their potential to reach art. Console agnostic and excited for the progress of tomorrow, I fancy the latest and greatest, but still enjoy the good old classics ... as long as they've been revamped from their 8bit graphic roots.

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