Microsoft has made good on a promise to open up the beta testing programme for its Xbox One console, merging it into the Windows Insider initiative as the unimaginatively named Xbox Insider Programme.
Previously, Microsoft has run closed beta tests of its Xbox software under the Xbox Preview Programme. For those lucky enough to gain entry, an early look at dashboard updates and new features; for those left on the outside, a feeling like they're missing something. That feeling can end, however, with the news that the Xbox Preview Programme is being scrapped in favour of the Xbox Insider Programme, modelled after Microsoft's successful Windows Insider Programme.
Like the Windows Insider Programme, the Xbox Insider Programme is to be open to all once it has fully launched. For now, though, it's even more exclusive than its predecessor: Microsoft's Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb has confirmed that only 'a small number of preview members who have provided the most feedback since the inception of the Xbox Preview Programme
' will be receiving early access to the shift, which comes with a new dashboard update featuring a refreshed user interface, a profile card detailing your contributions to the programme, and support for multiple member accounts on a single console.
Eventually, though, the preview programme will be open to all, Hryb has promised. 'More fans will have the ability to provide feedback directly from their Xbox One consoles,
' Hryb claimed in his announcement
of the change. 'The Xbox Insider Hub will provide great opportunities to try out games, apps, and other console experiences.
System updates, though, are to be excluded. 'Xbox system updates will currently be limited to those already testing them (not open to new members),
' Hryb warned, 'as we still have a huge number of volunteers already doing a great job testing and providing feedback.