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article imageMicrosoft: No Cortana on Xbox One until next year

By James Walker     Oct 4, 2015 in Entertainment
Microsoft this week rolled out new features to Xbox owners running the preview release of the upcoming Windows 10 Experience. It also confirmed the company's Cortana digital assistant won't be available on the Xbox One console until 2016.
The news was announced by Microsoft's Larry Hryb, also known as Major Nelson, on his blog. He wrote that the Xbox engineering team is working hard on making the new Windows 10-powered experience "the fastest and most social interface we’ve ever created."
This means some features need to be thoroughly tested to ensure they'll work as intended when in the hands of the scores of Xbox gamers who'll eventually use them. One such feature is Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant that started life on Windows Phone 8.1 and is now available on Windows 10.
Unfortunately for gamers wanting to employ Cortana's capabilities as soon as possible, the assistant is going to miss the new experience's November launch period by a sizeable amount. Hryb confirmed the plan is to add Cortana to the preview "later this year" and then roll-out to the public release build in 2016.
He wrote: "For those who have asked about Cortana, our plan is to add Cortana to the Xbox One experience preview later this year. From there, we'll ensure that the experience is tuned for gamers before we officially launch Cortana in 2016."
On Xbox One, Cortana will be able to automate several functions that would usually require interrupting gameplay to manage with a controller. Using just their voice, players will be able to start party chats, respond to notifications, snap apps and record and upload gameplay videos and screenshots. The features have been previously demoed in videos showcasing what the Windows 10-powered Xbox experience will eventually resemble.
This weekend, more preview members will be able to receive their first glimpse of the update using their own consoles as Microsoft expands the program. The company has also added more features to the Xbox Beta app for Windows 10 to keep PC gamers happy.
The update will roll-out to all Windows 10 users in due course and includes support for real-time interactive notifications to make it possible to instantly respond to friends liking, sharing or commenting on content. Messages have also been streamlined and now support interactive notifications too, alongside party text chats. The content sharing process has been made simpler via a new button at the top of the activity feed that allows players to quickly choose between all their recent content and click to upload it.
Going forward, Microsoft has pledged to continue adding monthly updates to both the Windows 10 Xbox One Experience and the Xbox app on Windows 10 in its new-found commitment to console and PC gaming. It is working hard to unify both platforms by making them run on the same codebase and enabling Xbox One to PC game streaming, a feature which could be expanded in the future to also work in reverse. The company is clear there has never been a better time to be an Xbox fan, regardless of whether you sit in front of a computer or a television.
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