Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S gamers are getting a great free upgrade

Xbox Insiders are already reaping the rewards; for the rest of us it's coming in the Autumn

Xbox Game Pass image showing Xbox Series X and Series S
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Sometimes I laugh at how spoilt technology has made me. I used to type video game code into my computer from a magazine every month, which often took days and sometimes didn't work. Nowadays I'm whingeing because my Xbox Series X takes about ten seconds to boot up. While this is clearly a first-world problem, it'd be nice if it were faster. And if you're an Xbox Insider, now it is. The rest of us will need to wait for the autumn update.

The news comes via Xbox marketing director Josh Munsee, who confirmed on Twitter that he'd commissioned animators to make a shorter boot animation to reflect the change: instead of taking roughly nine seconds to boot from cold, both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will boot in around four seconds.

Just imagine what you could do with all that extra time! I'm only being slightly sarcastic: if you use your Xbox constantly with power options set for maximum environmental friendliness, those little seconds will soon add up to quite a lot of time. And that's brilliant.

Everything is awesome

This forthcoming update is a great example of how technology gets better in little ways. I played the remastered Mass Effect trilogy recently and every single time my Commander Shepard went into a lift – something that players of the original will remember with horror, because it felt like it took a fortnight to load the levels – I was delighted by how quickly the next section loaded.  

I'm currently playing Far Cry 5 on Game Pass and enjoying load screens that disappear so quickly that I don't have time to read the on-screen text. And I've been kicking back with a TV series I used to watch back in the 90s, completely taking for granted the fact that, like all the best TVs, my Samsung happily upsamples the original rather grainy HD into something crisper and clearer.

I hate to sound like a character from The Lego Movie here, but this is one of the reasons I love writing about tech: every day somebody somewhere is working on something that might be fairly tiny in the great scheme of things but that will make my life that little bit nicer, more entertaining, more fun. It might just be an Xbox that boots four seconds faster, or – at last – the always-on display that'll be in some versions of the iPhone 14. But collectively all of these little improvements make a big difference. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (