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Xbox One Update Adds Cortana (theguardian.com) 99

Microsoft announced on Monday that its Xbox One console is due for a big software update this summer. Cortana, the digital voice assistant will be made available to Xbox One users, the company said. If you're part of the Xbox Preview program, you will be able to test the feature starting this week. The Guardian reports: To communicate, players simply have to say "hey Cortana" -- a sentence that Microsoft claims is easier for the system to pick up than the old "Xbox" prompt. Players won't need Kinect, as any Xbox One headset with a microphone will suffice. Players will also be able to ask Cortana what their friends are doing on Xbox, and it's possible to invite friends into a Party chat via Cortana voice controls.
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Xbox One Update Adds Cortana

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  • I was always uneasy to use the "Hey Siri" phrase, after having a whole lifetime with the phrase "Hey is for Horses" burnt into my head.

    Well now Microsoft is doing it too. Why couldn't they all have used "Hello, Siri" (which I then could have always said in the "Hello Nurse" Animaniacs voice) or better yet a Jack Vance/Harry Potter-esqe "Siri, Attend!"

  • Unsold (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Monday June 06, 2016 @03:31PM (#52261575) Homepage

    Still not excited about talking to inanimate objects, when I know they don't need me to talk to them to do what they're supposed to do.

    Chatbots, Cortana, "OK Google" ... it all just makes me feel like they think I'm an idiot.

    Maybe it's a personality thing? Maybe the people who carry on whole conversations with their dogs and cats would also like to talk to their computer instead of pushing a button, and I'm just not one of those people? But it seems crazy to me that anybody would want to complicate their life in that way. Just point to the menu option and click it. No whispering sweet nothings into your computer is needed.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Don't ask me. I don't even like talking to animate objects.
    • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

      As a Star Trek geek, talking to my phone is the absolute coolest thing I've experienced in my life time. It also happens to be very useful. I'm juggling the kids, my hands are full, I wanna know if we can swing my a grocery store to get something, and I can just say "ok google, near me." Or if a group of friends are debating something technical or political. I just say "ok google, how many Korean immigrants traveled from Astana to Cairo in 2005" and people are often stunned because 15 minutes of debate

    • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

      Also, it's great in the car. Especially when listening to talk radio. "Ok google, did Donald Trump really say..."

      Although in my living room, it does feel odd.

      • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

        Yeah, admittedly my opinion is skewed because I don't own a car, never see this use case.

    • No, I talk to my cat all day and I hate using voice controls for anything EXCEPT the Apple TV, which is only passably decent because they programmed it specifically for TV-related commands. Siri, Cortana, "OK Google," I just can't use them. It's still faster to use my thumbs.
  • Does the XBox process the commands, or are they sent to "The Cloud" for processing?
    • I find it interesting that it also works via a headset.. Oh boy, MS servers are going to seriously be working overtime sifting through all that online chatter that goes on in teamspeak...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        2+2 = 4. Microsoft will be monitoring all verbal communication. Get it yet? Everything you say, whether to Cortana or not, will be monitored by an A.I. that is capable of extracting meaning from your sentences and adding that intel to your profile, for marketing (and government spying) purposes.

        And before you go all "I have nothing to hide" realize that the greater value in this is gaining superior insight into trends, which in turn allows the data-holders to practice a form of insider trading. To make

        • I like that you just "educated" me on something I didn't express ignorance of. Thank you, though. I guess.

        • So the next big thing is getting people to run their mouth over something online. That should be fun to watch how it turns out.

        • > This is the new world. Get used to it.

          Quit being a pussy.

          You have a choice -- stop using MS's )spying) crap.

    • Only to process your search results--to add to your profile--which they then sell to advertisers.

  • And it picks up on Cortana and starts doing random things..

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Monday June 06, 2016 @03:50PM (#52261755)

    I bought a new xboxOne some time ago. the thing is so deeply integrated with Bing it makes me sick.

    Now they are adding Cortana, presumably so they can use her amazing data mining capabilities for some undisclosed reason. Since she is basically the strapon for Bing, they might as well go all in, instead of just the tip.

    Looks like it is time to look for the microphone and pour superglue into it. Good luck listening to me then Microsoft.

    • Why would you pour superglue into the microphone instead of just removing it completely?

      • Perhaps I want to play a kinect exclusive title, but dont want to feed microsoft's marketing division? I refuse to purchase titles that demand I talk to the console, but motion control can possibly be a useful feature in some game genres. (the new hand tracking features of kinect could be used in some interesting ways, which may be useful in immersive rpgs. I dont know what the future of this console holds in that respect.)

        The "needs to be on the internet all the damned time" thing is barely tolerable if

    • I bought a new xboxOne some time ago. the thing is so deeply integrated with Bing it makes me sick.

      As someone who uses his Xbox One about once or twice a week I'm legitimately curious about what you're seeing. I've never seen anything which made me think "That's integrated with Bing".

      • I find this difficult to believe, honestly. Bing integration is quite possibly the first thing I saw after the initial setup update process. Literally EVERYTHING related to searching and downloading is done with bing as the backend.


        Note the article is three years old. Can you imagine MS... reducing... its dependence on Bing, especially in light of putting Cortana on top, and locking down cortana to be bing exclusive on win10?

        I didnt think so.

        • Yeah, they put some "Search with Bing" nonsense instead of making it a generic "Search" field, but... it really bothers you that much?

          I'm trying to figure out why MS wouldn't use their own search engine when you search for stuff on Xbox Live? Do you really expect the Xbox to use Google as a search provider? And what would that buy you when it's searching Xbox Live-specific databases? It's a closed ecosystem, you know.

          There are plenty of things to criticize MS for... but using their own search engine on

          • Bing's purpose for existing is not to provide simple search services.

            Its purpose for existing is to get some of that delicious advertiser money, by being a gatekeeper to data useful to advertizers.

            I did not have a problem with the OLD way that the 360 did searches. They were just searches. I was a user, not a product.

            This implementation (bing everything, with hentai tentacles in every hole) neither asks me if I wish to be shown targeted advertisements, asks me if I want my searches included in metrics datab

        • Here's my limited experience, I place discs in the slot and the game plays. If I'm looking for something in the store I use the search capabilities, which might use Bing in some manner, I don't know because nothing says Bing. Given that I've only purchased at most two items from the store I don't think that I've been overwhelmed by a Bing experience.
    • Looks like it is time to look for the microphone and pour superglue into it. Good luck listening to me then Microsoft.

      the mic is either in Kinect, which you presumably don't have because of the privacy concerns, or in your headset, which isn't listening when it's not plugged in. It's not a big problem.

      On the other hand, a lot of smart TVs now have voice control and may be listening to you, and your ToS probably gives the manufacturer the right to record all of your conversations.

      • The smart TVs often have cameras in them too, for "light level control", but are much more than simple photodetectors. A thin smear of superglue fixes that problem too, and if thin enough, still allows light level detection.

        I dont have a smart TV. That's what a settop box is for. It isnt like a Roku or apple tv eats a lot of space in the entertainment center.

        My XboxOne is not easily jiggered with though. (has enough room around it for ventilation, but unplugging and replugging the kinect is a PITA.) I dont

    • I have an XBox One and I game on it and sometimes I browse the menus, and I don't know if Bing has ever come up once. Why would I search for something on my console?

      • You must not be very attentive, or must not use any dlc/market features.

        The whole xbox market is integrated with bing. The recorded videos and shared content features are powered by bing. There is an integrated version of Edge, that sits permanently at Bing as the home page.

        Do I need to continue, or is this sufficient?

        • So....Bing doesn't come up unless you decide to use the XBox One as a web browser? Or use the XBox One to do social networking?

          Sounds like no real problem for 90% of users.

          • Are you being purposefully obtuse?

            THE MARKET APP IS POWERED BY BING. When you search for a game or addon, the search is processed by Bing. That is why Cortanna can integrate with it seamlessly. The XboxOne suggests social media based on your play habbits, regardless of your subscription level or history playing online games. You can see that on the right side of the home screen when you select a recently played title from the quick list. That social media is powered by Bing.

            That will affect nearly all users

  • by no-body ( 127863 )

    how exiting, I am thoroughly thrilled...

  • by Stan92057 ( 737634 ) on Monday June 06, 2016 @05:00PM (#52262329)
    And if you don't want it? This is not a required part of the gaming machine its what i would call Extras that should be left up to the customer to install and use if they so choose. we live in the age where the Big Software corp telling customer whats good for them and chose is taken away that's what i see.
  • They should have an update that fixes the goddamn Master Chief Collection.
  • Oh no, more Bing infestation
  • Will Cortana actually be useful on Xbox One? There's certainly potential, but if it's the same as Cortana on Win10, it'll just bring up Bing results of whatever is asked of it. Granted, due to lack of keyboard on XBOne, this is much more useful than on PC. But, I've got such a bad taste of Cortana from Win10, I'm a bit jaded. If Cortana could even just open default Windows apps, it might be useful... but so far the only thing that's been handy is asking the current temperature. Other than that, mistype
  • One of my favorites with the "Xbox - " commands was a dude with gamertag "XboxSignout". He would then proceed to troll everyone in CoD, then as soon as they called out his name they'd inadvertently drop themselves from the game. Check it out here [gamerant.com], there's also "XboxTurnOff" and a few others.

    It might be a little trickier to weave "Hey Cortana" into a gamertag, but i'm sure someone somewhere is smart enough to figure it out, and someone else is dumb enough to fall for it.

A university faculty is 500 egotists with a common parking problem.