It sounds very much like you’re going to need a Kinect camera add-on for your Xbox One if you want to talk to the digital assistant on the console. WinBeta spotted a line in some official documentation that seems to clear up any lingering ambiguity over how the feature is going to work once it rolls out.
“The best way to use Cortana on Xbox One is with Kinect,” offered a Microsoft spokesperson when asked if Cortana’s voice control would need Kinect or work through a headset as well. That’s not definitive, but a line from a promotional page adds a bit more clarity: “Kinect required for Cortana speech recognition” it reads.
So if you want to be able to bark commands at Microsoft’s all-knowing app, you’re going to need to invest in a Kinect to go with your console. Microsoft has said that you can access Cortana via text input through your controller, but voice input — the most natural way to get your answers — requires Kinect, not just a microphone.
Cortana is making its way to desktops with the roll-out of Windows 10 as well as iOS and Android smartphones in the near future. Microsoft has obviously decided to take the Google route of getting its apps everywhere even if they’re running on rival platforms, and it’s smart assistant app is going to be far more effective if you can get at it on all your devices.
As for the Windows 10-inspired update for Xbox One, which includes Cortana, we’re expecting it sometime after the desktop OS reaches the masses at the end of July. Eventually you’ll be able to stream Xbox One games to a Windows 10 desktop as the two Microsoft-powered platforms get better acquainted. When the next Xbox One update does appear, it’ll feature a speedy new Dashboard interface, with Cortana playing a major role.