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article imageCortana found hidden in current Xbox One preview build

By James Walker     Oct 12, 2015 in Entertainment
Recently, Microsoft announced that Cortana will not be available on the Xbox One update preview until later this year. Now, some players have found that the assistant is actually already included and can be activated from a hidden menu.
A preview of the Windows 10-powered Xbox One Experience update can be downloaded by any console owner now. It makes it possible to get an early look at some of the new features coming to the Xbox One this November.
Previously, Microsoft has said that the Cortana digital assistant will not be ready in time for launch day and will come in a future update in early 2016. Preview members were told they would start seeing the anticipated feature from later this year.
However, it has now emerged that Cortana is actually already present in the current preview builds. Disabled, deactivated and hidden away, she was only discovered when one gamer inadvertently selected what turned out to be a hidden menu option in the new Xbox Guide.
Xbox One owners who have opted-in to the New Xbox One Experience preview program can access Cortana by bringing out the settings panel from the left fly-out menu, scrolling upwards until the cursor disappears above the displayed options and then repetitively pressing the A key.
With the sequence complete, Cortana will appear on the right side of the display. The interface currently in use is identical to that of Cortana on Windows 10, providing a search-bar and voice input control at the bottom and access to Cortana's Notebook via a hamburger button in the top-left corner.
Most of Cortana's features appear to work as normal, according to several detailed reports of the discovery. Anything that would normally work through a Windows app is inaccessible though, instead displaying a prompt to look for a compatible app in the store. This suggests that Microsoft could bring support for Windows 10 universal apps to the Xbox One in the future.
Currently, none of the Xbox One-specific voice commands are working. Eventually, gamers will be able to ask Cortana if friends are online, tell her to record a video or take a screenshot and start new party chats without leaving the game. At the moment, she fails to recognise these commands though, indicating how early in development Xbox One integration is.
Clearly, Microsoft didn’t really want anybody to discover Cortana's presence just yet and it's entirely possible the hidden menu option will vanish after the next preview update. The company is also likely to tweak Cortana's interface to better suit game controllers and of course add support for the currently-missing voice commands.
Even so, the find has already pleased many Xbox gamers as responses to key cross-platform queries like "what is the weather like" and "tell me a joke" work without any issues. Cortana will be added to the official release of the New Xbox One Experience a few months after its November launch. Owners should remember that a Kinect sensor will be required to use the feature.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, Xbox, xbox one
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