Xbox One Anniversary Update Preview Brings Cortana Assistant And Improved Sharing

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We first brought you news last week that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update would be coming to the Xbox One shortly in preview form. Well, Microsoft today not only officially announced that the update will land this summer for everyone, but that it will actually be available in preview form for Xbox Preview participants “in the coming weeks.”

Perhaps the biggest change that will come with the new Xbox One update is the arrival of the Cortana digital assistant for the console. Gamers in the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain will be the first to take advantage of Cortana, and will be able to belt out voice commands using either a headset or the Kinect accessory. According to Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra, you can use the “Hey Cortana” command to “find great new games, see what your friends are up to, start a party, accomplish common tasks, turn on your Xbox One if you’re using Kinect, and more.”

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Other changes include updates to the Game Collection interface to make finding the game you want easier and faster. The Facebook Friend Finder tool also makes the leap from the Xbox app to Xbox One, which will allow you to keep up with your Facebook friends that just so happen to have a knack for Xbox Live gaming. Microsoft has also made it easier to share GameDVR clips, screenshots and achievements on your Xbox One with the community.

You’ll also see more of a convergence with the Xbox Store and Windows Store as Microsoft pushes the shared Xbox/Windows 10 gaming experience.

“For the update coming this summer, we’re taking the same approach we used for the New Xbox One Experience with an opt-in program to let fans choose how they want to participate,” Ybarra continues. “We’ll begin testing a set of features expected this week with an opt-in audience in Xbox Preview.”

Now if only Microsoft would take that “opt-in” stance with Windows 10 upgrades