Xbox One’s summer update has three big features, including turning all consoles into dev kits

Better late than never

As a part of its plans for the anniversary of Windows 10’s launch, Microsoft intends to enhance the Xbox One. After all, it is a Windows 10 product. The tech giant took some time today to outline three significant features that are coming to Xbox One this summer, including one that’s long-awaited.

At today’s Microsoft Build conference keynote in San Francisco, it was revealed that the next large system update would turn all Xbox Ones into developer kits. This would allow more people to more easily create games and apps for the platform, which, in theory, is a great thing.

There’s no indication exactly how it’ll work, but this is the first time Microsoft has spoken about it in approximately a year. Xbox head Phil Spencer is set to talk at Microsoft Build later in the week, which means that maybe he’ll have some more insight as to the program.

The other two announced features are more geared toward the average consumer. Microsoft’s Siri-like voice-activated assistant Cortana will be implemented on the Xbox One. Obviously, Kinect will have to be plugged in for Cortana to work. Microsoft walked back on Kinect being integral to the Xbox One experience sometime in 2014, meaning that a good chunk of the user base is without the peripheral.

However, the last feature is more universal. Microsoft’s adding the ability to play background music on Xbox One. PlayStation 4 already has this by way of Spotify; it’s not clear if Microsoft has a first-party solution for this or if it’s partnering up too.

These are three substantial additions to the Xbox One system, although different users will find them of varying levels of usefulness. It might not be all Microsoft has in store, though. It has already been teased that more features will be announced. We’ll keep an eye on Microsoft Build for any more worthwhile gaming news.

Brett Makedonski
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