Xbox Cloud Gaming is about to become… More Xbox: Microsoft has released a preview version of the new dashboard of the service in the past few hours, which is much more similar to that of its consoles than before. It’s not just a matter of the appearance and position of menus and buttons, which were already very similar – but above all the features are more aligned, first and foremost those related to social and networking.

In particular, party chat is available: in fact, all you need is a web browser to enter a video call with your friends and contacts on the platform, where before you had to resort to the desktop app. But that’s not all; The new dashboard also includes:

Finding and managing friends
Ability to send and receive messages (private or in groups)
Ability to view users’ profiles and their achievement list
Full notification support

It’s not hard to imagine why the novelty is important: as we know, Xbox Cloud Gaming is not only a service to access your games on the go, but also to transform, in a way, every smart TV (and VR headset, at least Meta Quest) into an Xbox. The more similar the interface and functionality, the closer Microsoft gets to the concept of a “streaming console”. A concept, that of Xbox beyond hardware, on which the Redmond giant has shown to focus a lot.

As we said, for now the new interface is only available to Insiders: it is impossible, for now, to determine how long it will take before the release to all stable users, but the wait could still be a few months.

In the meantime, however, there is also news for the desktop Xbox app: the game hubs that we reported to you a few weeks ago have arrived in stable form. They work a bit like on Steam: for each title you can track progress, hours played, DLC, news and developer announcements, photo/video captures and much more. Microsoft hints that it has quite ambitious plans for the hubs and promises to expand them in the future.