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PSA: Big Xbox One Update Rolls Out Today, Includes Cortana And Customizable Background Music

by Elise Favis on Jul 30, 2016 at 08:07 AM

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A huge Xbox One update is out as of today, bringing a string of improvements to the user interface, design, and Xbox Store. As we found out earlier in June, the Xbox One will now include the voice controlled, digital personal assistant Cortana, which can be accessed with any headset or through Kinect. Other updates will allow you to listen to your own soundtrack as background music while gaming, and better filter options are coming to the Xbox Store and game library.

As of today, U.S. and UK users can now say "Hey, Cortana" followed by voice commands to control certain aspects of their Xbox One. For example, you can ask Cortana what your friends are playing to receive a status update, or instantly invite friends to your party just by saying so. If you ask Cortana, "Hey Cortana, what can I say?" she will list some possible commands for you. Cortana can be toggled on and off, so you can return to the traditional Xbox voice commands if you like. Microsoft will be adding more features to Cortana progressively. View the video below to see a preview of these actions and more, which are explained by Larry Hryb and Mike Ybarra from the Xbox engineering team.

Additionally, you'll now be able to select any supported language on Xbox One regardless of your region. For example, if you're from Germany but still want all your text to be in English, that won't be an issue.

Another big inclusion is background music. You can listen to your own soundtrack in the background while you're playing a game. Settings like volume or skipping tracks can be accessed within a side menu that you can pop up whenever you wish. At a later date, the Pandora music app will fully support customizable background music. Pandora will be one of many partners who will support this function.

As for your game library, you'll now be able to sort your collection more efficiently, by changing the tile sizes of the icons, searching alphabetically, and managing the order of your downloads in your queue. A 'Ready to Install' tab will be quick to access, along with a new 'Updates' tab where you can see recent installed updates added to your games.

The Xbox Store and Windows Store will now act as a "single cohesive experience across all devices." Both stores have been streamlined to feature better filter options, such as searching by genre or what titles are on sale. You'll also be able to read reviews written by other users about products and games. 

All the updates rolling out today will also be available on the Xbox One S which is arriving August 2

[Source: Xbox Wire]