New Xbox One Update Removes Cortana from Console

A new Xbox One update is rolling out to some users this week with changes affecting the console's voice command support and the home screen. The dashboard is changing again and will have yet another layout that includes a few buttons leading to the console's main areas of interest among other changes. Another change that'll be different in this update is the lack of an existing feature as Cortana support is removed from the console itself.

Xbox One users can currently issue commands to the console by talking to Cortana through their headset, but that won't be possible after this next update releases. Instead, users will have to instruct their Xbox One on what to do next by using other methods such as the Cortana app on applicable devices.

In a post outlining the changes that are being made, Microsoft said the removal of the Cortana function from the console itself is part of an evolution of voice commands that's been going on over the course of multiple updates.

"Building on these efforts, we are now further evolving the way we support voice commands on Xbox and are moving away from on-console experiences to cloud-based assistant experiences," Microsoft's post about the new update on the Xbox Wire said. This means you can no longer talk to Cortana via your headset. However, you can use the Xbox Skill for Cortana via the Cortana app on iOS, Android, and Windows or via Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker to power your Xbox One, adjust volume, launch games and apps, capture screenshots, and more —just as you can do with Alexa-enabled devices today. We'll also continue to improve the Xbox Skill across supported digital assistants and continue expanding our Xbox voice capabilities in the future based on fan feedback."

Xbox One Dashboard Update
(Photo: Microsoft)

Also included in the post was the image above which showed what the dashboard will look like when the update is released.


"With this new experimental Home design, the first thing you'll notice is we've removed the Twists from the top of Home in favor of separate buttons that launch your gaming experiences," Microsoft said. "The goal is to let you jump into Xbox Game Pass, Mixer, Xbox Community and Microsoft Store quicker than ever. We've also shifted things around to make more room for your recently played titles."

The update will roll out this week for those in the Alpha Skip Ahead ring. It won't fully roll out to all users until the fall though, so those who prefer to use Cortana through the headset don't have to worry about that feature going away until later.