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Microsoft today announced the release of the Xbox Summer Update for the Xbox One and the Xbox app. The release finally brings Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant to all Xbox One systems in the U.S. and the U.K.

“With Cortana, gamers can expect more from voice commands on Xbox,” Mike Ybarra, head of Xbox platform engineering at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post. “In addition to more commands and greater accuracy with natural language and text dictation, Cortana provides the ability to use a headset or Kinect. You’ll be able to use Cortana 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.”

For the past year Cortana has been a prominent feature in Windows 10. Now it’s available on the Xbox One, too. Support for Cortana became available in June for people participating in the Xbox One Preview program. The feature has grown on my colleague Jeff Grubb.

Thanks to today’s update Xbox One is also getting the ability to play background music while you’re playing a game. The forthcoming Pandora app will be the first app through which this feature will work, and after that the iHeartRadio app and Microsoft’s own Groove Music app will add support for it, too, Ybarra wrote.


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On top of that, Xbox One will let users use whatever language they want, no matter what country they’re in. “For example, if you’re in the U.S. and move to Germany, you can now keep your language set to English on Xbox One and enjoy your experiences in English,” Ybarra wrote.

The Xbox Store on Xbox One has been revamped, too. “On Xbox One, we’ve streamlined the shopping experience to help you find the games you love faster and at the best prices,” Ybarra wrote. “You’ll be able to filter search results by genre, read reviews written by fellow gamers — including those voted “most helpful” by the Xbox Live community — easily recognize what titles are on sale with strikethrough pricing in lists, and more. We’ve also added several new channels to help you discover the content you love even faster.”

On the Xbox app, the Game Bar now works in full-screen mode for six more games: Battlefield 4, Counterstrike: Global Offensive, Diablo III, Dota 2, League of Legends, World of Warcraft. And you’ll be able to record games at 60 fps with the new Very High setting in the Game Bar once you’ve installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which is due out on August 2, Ybarra wrote.

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