As Microsoft continues its effort to make its products and services ecosystem more consistent, it is finally bringing Cortana, the virtual assistant featured on Windows 10, to the Xbox One. After multiple delays starting in 2015, the feature is part of the Xbox Summer Update, which began rolling out to users today.
While we previously reported it would initially launch on Xbox One in the United States, the United Kingdom, Frame, Italy, Germany, and Spain, it is only currently rolling out to the United States and the United Kingdom.
A release from Xbox says that with Cortana gamers can expect more from voice commands on Xbox. The feature will replace and improve upon the current voice recognition software in the console: “In addition to more commands and greater accuracy with natural language and text direction, Cortana provides the ability to use a headset or Kinect,” the release says. “You’ll be able to use Cortana to find new great games, see what your friends are up top, start a party, accomplish common tasks, turn on your Xbox One if you’re using Kinect, and more.”
Microsoft will also continue rolling out more Cortana features into the system over time, as part of its vision to “have Cortana be your personal digital assistant for gaming,” according to the release.
While the move largely represents closer integration of the Xbox One and Windows 10 user experiences, the Summer Update as a whole will prove useful to Xbox One users in more than one way. The update adds a background music feature allowing users to play music while they play games or use other apps on the console, with apps like Pandora. Groove Music, iHeartRadio, and other apps are coming later. You’ll also be able to better sort and manage your Game Collection, and set your language independently of where you are located.