Xbox One Adding Cortana In 2016

The release of the new Xbox One Experience is just over a month away. Cortana, the digital assistant included with Windows 10, will not be part of that release, however. Microsoft announced the Halo-inspired version of Apple’s Siri will launch for the console in 2016.

“For those who have asked about Cortana, our plan is to add Cortana to the Xbox One experience preview later this year,” Xbox Director of Programming Larry Hyrb announced on his Major Nelson blog. “From there, we’ll ensure that the experience is tuned for gamers before we officially launch Cortana in 2016.”

The lack of Cortana at the launch of the New Xbox One Experience is somewhat disappointing, but also not terribly surprising. This is the largest update to the console yet and will bring significant changes to the user interface, how the Xbox One performs, along with a wealth of other new features. Bringing in a digital assistant will probably take more time to get right, especially since the majority of Xbox One consoles do not have the Kinect and its microphone hooked up.

Windows 10 Cortana

As reported earlier for Inquisitr, Microsoft is rolling out the New Xbox One Experience to more Xbox Preview Program members starting this weekend. The plan is to continue giving the update to more members in waves “until everyone who wants in is in.” The update was initially provided to a select few participants in September who were consistent participants in the Preview Program.

The New Xbox One Experience will continue to be tested over the next several weeks leading to its planned release around mid-November. A number of bugs and issues have already been fixed from the initial release with a small number of Xbox One owners in possession of the update.

The updates to the Xbox One have extended past the Preview Program members and included everyone else as well. For example, party chat was updated last week to include up to 12 people. The Windows 10 Xbox Beta App has also been updated with a number of changes that partner with the Xbox One.

  • Party text chat – Earlier this week, we introduced party text chat as another way to connect with your friends in the latest build of the New Xbox One Experience Preview. Starting today, party text chat is available for Xbox Beta app members, joining voice chat as another way for gamers to communicate with friends.
  • Read and reply to messages directly from notifications – No need to click through to read and reply to messages anymore. Now, you can quickly reply directly to the message inline. (See above)
  • Activity alert notifications – You’ll get real-time notifications when someone else in the Xbox Live community adds you as a friend or likes, shares, or comments on your content. We designed these notifications to help you engage more deeply and easily with the community and made them easy to manage in Settings.
  • Activity feed sharing – In the top right corner of your activity feed, you’ll now see a “share” icon. Click on the icon to display your recent shareable activity, such as achievements earned, game clips recorded and screenshots taken. From here, you can easily select the content you want to share.

New Xbox One Experience

As previously covered by Inquisitr, the New Xbox One Experience will come with the following changes announced by Microsoft.

“A new Guide lets you quickly access essentials with just one button press to save time spent weaving in and out of apps. You can access the Guide from Home by pressing left or double tap the Xbox button on your controller to instantly overlay the Guide. You can access Friends, quickly start a Party, get to Settings, see System Notifications, view your Messages, and more from Home or without leaving your game. These are the top tasks Xbox fans do most often, so we focused on making them faster and easier to get to without disrupting your game.

“We’re redesigning Home to make it faster and easier to get to the things you love. We’re introducing a faster and easier interface to provide access to games and apps you’ve recently used. At launch you’ll be able to more easily share your achievements and game clips with the Xbox Live community, see whether your friends are playing the same games and get one-click access to Game Hubs to get news and updates directly from the developers and community themselves.

“We’re introducing a new Community section to make Xbox One more social. Based on your feedback, this section is optimized to help you tap into what other gamers are doing on Xbox Live and directly contribute to the conversation happening within the Xbox Live community. Check out what your friends are up to or keep track of the games you follow in the redesigned Activity Feed. Explore the new Trending section to view the most popular posts from players on Xbox Live.

“The revamped OneGuide will be your single destination for TV, movies and video apps. From OneGuide, you can see a list of current trending live TV shows with the most viewers at that moment on Xbox. TV listings will now come up instantly and in full-screen, and we’ve added a picture-in-picture mode for TV so you can browse for other things to watch without missing what’s happening in your show. We’ll highlight a selection of the most exciting new movies, TV shows and deals from across the apps on Xbox One and the new App Channels area will show you the latest movies, TV shows and videos highlighted by the apps you care about.

“We’re optimizing Store to help you quickly find the content you want. To the right of OneGuide, you’ll find the new and improved Store with features including four easy to explore areas – Games, Movies & TV, Apps, and Music – and a new vertical gallery view to bring more listings at a glance. Browse through intuitive categories like Staff Picks, New Releases, Top played, Top rated, Coming Soon and Recommendations to discover new games, apps, and entertainment for your Xbox One.”

[Images via Xbox, Windows 10]