Microsoft Xbox One Anniversary Update With Play Anywhere Is Now Available For Download

With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update set to launch on August 2, it seems Microsoft's Xbox had interest in beating their desktop counterparts to the punch by releasing the Xbox One Anniversary Update right now.

It's probably a smart move on Microsoft's part to roll out the releases like this, as these platform versions are meant to complement each other. If you have an Xbox One, it means there will be no waiting to take advantage of the interoperability between the two platforms, once you upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10.

So what's included? Well, if you enjoy talking to artificial intelligence, you may appreciate the fact that Cortana finally makes its Xbox debut. You're able to call upon Cortana by saying "Hey Cortana", followed by a command. If you're a Kinect user, Microsoft gives a specific example: utter "Hey, Cortana. Xbox On", and like magic, the console will power on.

Xbox One S

One feature update everyone should appreciate is being able to play music in the background while gaming or other activities. Why this feature took so long to arrive, we have no idea, but at least it's here now. You are able to open up a music app, play music, and then go back to your game or other content. Unfortunately, managing the playback of the music once it's playing is not exactly intuitive: you must hit the Xbox button, then choose Multitasking, and then choose your music controls. Currently, only Pandora supports background playback, but Microsoft promises that more support is coming soon.

In addition to those useful updates, the interface has been tweaked to prioritize access to your games and apps. You can now choose a location separate from your language and a brand-new Microsoft Store also makes its debut today.

Xbox Play Anywhere
Xbox Play Anywhere - On board The Xbox One Anniversary Update

As noted, this release ties in with the Anniversary Update for Windows 10, and part of that includes the Cortana introduction (searches will be shared across different platforms if you have them). This update also officially launches Xbox Play Anywhere, which is Microsoft's program for letting gamers purchase one copy of a game, and be able to play it on both the Xbox One and Windows 10. Overall, a very solid update, and one you should jump on now if you own an Xbox One.