The October Xbox system software update is out now, bringing some nice quality of life features to the Xbox family of consoles, and for the Xbox Series X in particular. This update delivers the long-requested 4K dashboard, the various night mode features, and a set of quick settings to the Guide overlay.
The 4K Dashboard has been in demand from gamers ever since the release of the Xbox One X in 2018. The core system software was stuck rigidly at 1080p, as Microsoft chose to prioritise giving more RAM to games and developers, but they’ve now bowed to demands and scaled up the dashboard to 4K. The catch is that it’s only for the Xbox Series X. The Xbox One X and Xbox Series S presumably don’t have the right permutation of SSD and RAM for Microsoft to add support.
Now Xbox gamers can get back to complaining that the dashboard doesn’t have HDR support, which means that some TV brands and models have to flicker between HDR and SDR modes when you go back to the main system software. Hopefully that’s a 2022 feature, because I find it quite annoying…
Thankfully the other features in the October update aren’t quite so restricted. As the nights have started to draw in, Night Mode is a very timely addition. For Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles, you can now dim or entirely turn off the power button light on your controller and console. For Xbox Series X|S, you also have the ability to shift the colour tone with a blue light filter. These settings can then be scheduled to turn on and off with local sunrise and sunset, or at a time of your own choosing. All of this works at a system level, so won’t impact game performance or affect screenshots and capture
You can find the settings under Settings >Accessibility > Night mode or Settings > TV & display options > Night mode.
Speaking of finding settings, there’s a new Quick Settings menu on the Xbox Guide. This gives you access to quickly toggle accessibility features without trudging over to the full Settings app (and triggering a HDR to SDR transition). Microsoft note that this should be good for families that have different preferences and needs.