Earlier this week Microsoft rolled out a major Xbox One update, bringing console owners a host of new features.

Following a summer-long preview, the update brought a much faster Dashboard and a more intuitive, horizontal guide that’ll make switching between menu options a breeze.

However, many of the features promised since E3 2017 are being held back for future updates, including backward compatibility with original Xbox games.

Way backwards compatibility

In a recent interview with GameSpot, Microsoft’s Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said development was currently on track for a launch before the end of the year.

He said: “We’re close. We’re really … I mean, so I have a little dashboard I go to, but I can see all the games where they are in getting approvals in pipeline. I know the games that are coming for the original Xbox.”

When pushed on a possible 2017 launch, Spencer added: “Oh yeah. I feel good.”

Just like the Xbox 360 titles, gamers will be able to insert their physical discs in order to download digital versions of the original Xbox games.

Related: Xbox One X hands-on

Currently, Microsoft has only confirmed two games; Fusion Friendly and Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, but Spencer says there are plenty more in the pipeline.

He said: “I don’t think we’ve announced them all. We have to do this in partnership with partners and stuff to do it, but we’re still on track. I feel really good. The games look great.”

New Avatars

This week’s update also arrived without the pending Avatars overhaul. Back at E3 2017, the company promised the return of custom-made avatars animated avatars from the Xbox 360 era.

However, this time, they’ve have been rebuilt using the Unity engine and that will allows gamers to do more with their Avatars and enjoy greater flexibility when it comes to emotions, diversity and customisation.

You’ve got to give a little

Finally, Microsoft has promised the next major Xbox update should enable console owners to buy games as a gift for their fellow players.

When checking out, Xbox One owners will be asked to pick a recipient, who’ll receive a download code to their registered email address.

Microsoft is yet to add these features to Xbox Insider preview versions, so the company will have to get a wriggle on if it wants them to be available before the end of the year.

Which OG Xbox game would you most like to play on your Xbox One? Drop us a line with a top five @TrustedReviews on Twitter.