“Cortana” Will Come to Xbox One

The Xbox One has been out for some time now, and the Kinect sensor packaged with it has been a hit…or in some cases a miss. The microphone at times misunderstands commands, and in some cases ignores them entirely. It also proved to be a slight learning curve familiarizing oneself with the rigid command list to get the best out of the Kinect’s menu functionality.  In-game, the Kinect has been met with even less success. A simple cough during Dead Rising 3, for example has been known to unpause the game, creating a sizeable amount of frustration for many (I myself had to toggle off Kinect menu navigation during my review). Despite being a hardware/developer issue, these problems translate directly into the gameplay itself. It’s more than frustrating, and it leaves one to speculate the future of the peripheral. Yet, a change may be coming in a way quite different than you’d expect.

Such progress comes in the form of an upgraded command system. It is no secret that Microsoft is working on a it’s own assistant. Codenamed “Cortana,” this virtual assistant is made with the intention of rivaling Siri and Google Now.  This doesn’t sound as promising on the console front at first, but the intrigue can be found a little further in-depth. Comparable to Siri, “Cortana” is being developed first for Microsoft’s Windows phone, suggesting that the technology will accept more natural forms of communication as the user issues commands. ZDNet reported earlier that this technology will even be able to adapt to user commands with time, which is something the console-turned TV box can definitely benefit from.

One can argue the Xbox One had a pretty great library at launch. But the problem for the console isn’t content at this point; it’s price. As fun as the games have been thus far, the the $500 price point may prove to be a bit much for many who would otherwise adopt it. Microsoft has to do something meaningful with the Kinect, and Cortana could be a good start. Early adopters view their purchase as an investment, and a day-one purchase is the same optimism. If the company can’t build on the package they’ve designed, then the Kinect 2.0 will fall by the wayside, as did its predecessor.