Cortana arrives on Xbox One for preview members

Microsoft is releasing a new Xbox One update for its preview members today, and it includes access to Cortana for the first time. While Microsoft had originally planned to introduce Cortana for Xbox One last year, the company delayed the digital assistant integration to include it with the Anniversary Update to the console. Cortana will appear in the Xbox One dashboard, and you'll be able to access the voice assistant through the Kinect sensor or a headset. As a result, Microsoft is altering the way you activate Xbox voice commands to just "Hey Cortana."

Cortana integration will be available in the US, UK, Italy, Germany, and Spain initially, and you'll be able to use the digital assistant to launch parties, see what friends are playing, and do basic tasks. Cortana will even recognize your friends real names or gamertags. Microsoft says it plans to add Cortana features over time, so the initial preview of capabilities won't be the full set just yet.

Alongside the Cortana integration, the Xbox One update also includes a number of new features that coincide with Microsoft's plans to combine the Xbox and Windows Store experience. A new game collection UI makes it a lot easier to see what games are ready to install, and the tiled interface is now vertically aligned instead of browsing horizontally. Microsoft is also improving the sharing feature of the Xbox app for Windows 10, allowing you to share screenshots and game clips directly to Twitter.

While the Xbox and Windows Stores aren't fully integrated just yet in this initial preview, Microsoft is tweaking the store regardless. Improvements include the ability to filter what games are on sale in the store, and access bundles, season passes, and other DLC a lot easier. On the PC side, this means games purchased from Steam or elsewhere will now show up as a game hub on Xbox Live so you can share clips, screenshots, and start parties using the Xbox app on Windows 10.

Microsoft is allowing preview members to opt-in to testing this update initially, and a subset of the features will be available to preview testers this week before they're expanded more broadly. Microsoft is merging the Xbox One Preview program with the Windows Insider program, so feedback will be more streamlined for both the Xbox app on Windows 10 and the dashboard upgrades. Preview members will start testing the new Xbox One update this week, and it will roll out to all Xbox One users later in the summer.


I really need a Xbox One. I love the updates.

P.s. I wonder if we will see an increase in Kinect purchases now!!!!

Doubtful since you don’t need a Kinect for the Cortana features. The article states that you can use a headset to access it too. Kinect is a very niche product that I rarely found myself using when I had on my Xbox 360. I know it’s supposed to be better on the Xbox One but at this point I don’t really miss it.

The most boring stuff about Kinect (I’ve only the X1 version) are the 3 red lights that you have to put next to your TV screen… and of course the white xbox logo.

I had a plan for a X1 app that would use Kinect, but I just hate those source of light next to my TV

I got the Kinect at launch and would never want to be without it. I use voice commands all the time. I had to get it repaired once, and it was eye-opening how much we relied on it. Besides convenient media control, turning on/off the xbox (and the xbox turning on/off my TV and sound system) via my voice is awesome.

That being said, if they ever made a cheaper mic-only device (maybe IR blaster too?), that would be all I need. I rarely need/use the camera.

See this is exactly what I’m talking about. A lot of people got the Kinect at launch with their One but I bought mine when you didn’t have to buy them bundled anymore. Because I never used it, I don’t miss it and all of the new features aren’t reliant on the Kinect anyway so I see no need for me to buy it.

I’m certain if I had it since the beginning that I’d become accustomed to using it and wouldn’t be able to see myself without it but hearing my friends yell "Xbox Off", "Xbox record that", or any of the other commands while I’m in a party made me realize that I’m perfectly fine walking the 5 feet to my Xbox to turn it off or just double tapping the middle button and pressing X to record a video in 2 seconds instead of waiting for a voice command prompt to finish.

Actually, I really like being able to walk into my room and get recognized. Some part of me wishes that we could tie that functionality into more stuff. Use Windows Hello to authenticate for smart home stuff, and control my lights using the mic, for example. (I know, that’s just Echo without the far field mic.. but it seems possible….)

Just went to the MS store on Saturday. Got the XB1 kinect bundle with 3 kinect games, assassins Creed, an extra controller, a charging stand for two controllers, a year of Xbox live gold, and 2 year warranty for just under $500. They’ve got a heck of a deal going right now.

I cant wait for the E3…

Xbox and probably Surface are the only devices made from Microsoft that people can fall in love with…

The Band is another best-in-class device from Microsoft, but no one knows about. MSFT marketing is horrid.

Xbox, Surface, Band are all top tier products. When Microsoft gets into hardware they out do themselves.

I too will add that that I love my Band 2 as well. They just keep making it better.

Surface+Xbox+HoloLens+Band……all we need now is a phone and the circle is then complete?

With HoloLens you can create any phone you want !

This is exactly why I don’t see Microsoft’s failure in Mobile as complete. If they can refine Hololens with a >70% field of view, better battery life, processor, and add in the phone capabilities where you could pin or have the phone interface up and following you or staying in your field of view, It could essentially become a HUD for you mobile interface where you now can have multiple apps running concurrently without the limitations of a phone’s screen. If they do it right (and a big if from MS), it could make the loss of mobile more or less irrelevant. It will be interesting to see how their vision unfolds.

Hololens is a platform now… Manufacturer can make Hololens devices exactly like you want… Of course you have to pay for the innovation factor…

Can you directly open and access Cortana on Win10 via a headset? Or will that feature be solely on the console? I don’t find myself using it much because the input is kinda hard on desktop.

Cortana already responds to "Hey Cortana" on PCs, if u enable it from Cortana settings.

Sure, all you need is a mic on Win 10 to access Cortana voice commands.

Hey Cortana has been on PC since Day 1. You must enable it in Cortana settings.

Why would that not be on by default..?

Because of the privacy tantrum the internet usually throws about this stuff.

When you go through the first boot experience it will ask you to enable Cortana.

It also depends on what country you’re in.

good point

Look at the stink people made from Win10 sending anonymous telemetry. Can you image what people would say if the mic was open by default?

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