Microsoft is planning to update its Xbox One console with a huge new update. The software giant provided an early look at a new dashboard update today, which is said to be "coming soon," and there are a lot of changes. Firstly, Microsoft appears to be moving away from the tiled interface that was introduced with the Xbox One. The new dashboard includes features that focus on speed and performance, and a design that's a lot more simplified.
There's one-click access to things like sharing or achievements, and a new pane that can slide in when you double-tap the Xbox button on a controller. The pane appears to be the quickest way to access notifications, messages, quick settings, and your friends list. If you're using a party on an Xbox One then this will be shown in the quick pane, and it's easy to add and remove friends from party chat. There's also a new trending section on the right that highlights top Xbox gamers, suggested friends, and a lot more.
Say hello to Cortana
The biggest new addition is Cortana integration. It looks like Microsoft's Kinect system will be getting a big upgrade. Microsoft demonstrated Cortana on Xbox One today, and the commands are a lot more powerful than what exists today. Saying "Hey Cortana, record the last minute and share it to my activity feed" will publish a game clip straight away. Likewise, "Hey Cortana, start a party and invite Amanda" will invite a friend into a voice chat all without having to lift your fingers from your controller. Cortana appears in the top left of the interface and works in the background. It's not clear whether you'll need Kinect to use Cortana, or whether a headset will work, but the integration looks impressive.
Microsoft isn't stating exactly when this new Xbox One dashboard update will be rolled out, but the company does say it's "coming very soon" and arriving in the fall. So expect to see this debut some time after Windows 10 is available with Xbox One game streaming next month.