Cortana is Microsoft’s voice assistant feature that originally debuted on Windows Phone. However given Microsoft’s strategy which is to unify their platforms, or at least make them as compatible as possible, they have announced that Cortana will be arriving on Windows 10, and now they have also announced that it will arrive on the Xbox One.
This is great news for gamers as it means that they can get Cortana to look up information on the Xbox One without having to type anything. They can also get it to perform other kinds of functions all with their voice.
According to Microsoft’s description of the feature, “Through voice commands on Xbox One, Cortana will assist you to more quickly find great games, new challengers and friends on Xbox Live, or accomplish common tasks. Cortana can also help you get achievements by surfacing videos and information to help you succeed.”
Sounds like a great idea, right? Unfortunately Microsoft did not specify if this will work through a regular headset with a microphone, or if a Kinect is required. However as spotted by the folks at Windows Central, it seems that you might.
According to a message that reads, “Coming Holiday 2015. Some features require Xbox Live Gold (sold separately). Kinect required for Cortana speech recognition. Cortana available in select jurisdiction only.” This message can be viewed by heading to the E3 featured area on your Xbox One, with the message popping up towards the end of the video.
For gamers who were early to the scene and bought the Xbox One at launch, this should not be an issue. However gamers who came after that and purchased the Xbox One sans Kinect, it seems that you guys might not really have saved money after all.