Compact mode is now available for everyone in the Xbox app on PC

Yesterday, Xbox announced its upcoming November update on its official news website, encompassing enhancements for both the Xbox application on PC platforms and the Xbox console system. In the update announcement, the Xbox development team highlighted a new feature for the PC platform’s Xbox application – the Compact Mode.

This mode is specifically designed for handheld Windows devices like the Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go. The toggle for Compact Mode is located in the top left menu of the application. When activated, the sidebar collapses to display only icons for corresponding functions, thereby enlarging the main right-side space and allowing players to view more content.

Xbox has expressed its intention to collaborate with Asus and other manufacturers to ensure that Compact Mode is set as the default on handheld devices, offering players an out-of-the-box handheld experience. The development team has also committed to continually focusing on upgrading the application, aiming to provide an excellent Xbox experience on Windows handheld devices.

Although the announcement mentions “coming soon,” my personal testing revealed that this new mode has already been implemented in the Xbox application (Preview Experience Program). Compared to Steam’s Big Picture Mode, Xbox’s Compact Mode does not introduce major changes; it simply collapses the sidebar. Considering Microsoft’s internal programming marathon projects we previously reported on, it’s likely that Xbox will roll out more updates in the future.

Additionally, the Xbox application now includes a game service repair tool to help players diagnose and fix issues with Xbox game services. The notification menu has also been updated, with the development team adding an “unread only” switch.

Regarding the console itself, Xbox has introduced support for Japanese keyboards, including both physical and virtual keyboards. The wishlist feature has also been enhanced: if a game on a player’s wishlist is part of a limited-time free event, the console will issue a corresponding notification.