The latest Xbox console update is now available for current- and last-gen Xbox consoles. In it come several features that will benefit players on any platform within the Xbox ecosystem, as well as some especially helpful for Xbox Series X|S players.
The marquee addition to the ecosystem this month is the ability to pre-install games that are on the way to Game Pass. This won't be available 100% of the time for such games, but as games are coming down the pipeline and heading toward Xbox, some will be available to pre-install.
I'm in the preview program for Xbox console updates and last month took advantage of this feature to pre-install games such as Foam Sword's indie darling Knights and Bikes and the still-yet-to-be-released The Medium, the Silent Hill-like horror from Boober Team coming in January. Games that aren't available to pre-install can instead be queued to install on their launch days by using the Xbox mobile app.
With the console update live, this feature is now available for all players.New dynamic backgrounds have come to Xbox Series X|S, giving players yet another option for how they dress up their console's home screen. Previous options remain available, such as using solid colors, accompanying artwork from achievements you've unlocked, or even custom screenshots.
Another new feature is an Auto HDR indicator. With many games receiving HDR support even where developers haven't enhanced their games in any way, pausing such games will now reveal an "Auto HDR" badge on the home screen overlay to give players a heads up that the game they're playing benefits from the feature. Similarly, games in your library will now have "X|S" stamps on their tiles to indicate those which have received proper new-generation enhancements. That list, which currently sits at over 30 games, continues to grow with most new releases.
If you'd like to receive future updates like these ahead of the public, you can sign up to be in the Xbox preview program here.