The Summer Update started rolling out on Saturday for Xbox One users, and with it comes deeper integration with Microsoft's wider Windows 10 universe. The Xbox started rocking Windows 10 underpinnings in late 2015, but now the console is getting features that bring it closer to its PC, tablet, and smartphone counterparts.
The first big addition is the voice-activated Cortana digital assistant, which works similarly on the console as it does on PCs and phones. There are Xbox-specific features, however, such as the ability to find new games, start a party, and turn on the Xbox One (if you have a Kinect).
Microsoft also made the first of several moves that will bring the Xbox Store and the Windows Store closer together. It’s not quite a big deal yet, but in the coming weeks Microsoft will open up the Xbox One to third-party apps, allowing you to run universal Windows 10 apps on the console, such as VLC.
The Summer Update also brings the underlying tech the Xbox One needs for the new Xbox Play Anywhere program. Microsoft’s cross-play feature makes select games playable on both PC and the Xbox One, with your game saves following you across the two devices. Play Anywhere is expected to go live on Tuesday, September 13.
On top of that, after the Anniversary Update rolls out on August 2, Windows 10 PC games will get their own hubs on Xbox Live. This will allow Xbox and PC gamers to see what their friends are playing on the other platform, and share screenshots and clips with each other. Microsoft says you will also be able to have party chats with friends across PC and Xbox “no matter what they’re doing.”
Microsoft is also letting gamers buy items such as bundles, season passes, game add-ons, and DLC for Xbox Live games through the Windows Store on PCs with the Anniversary Update installed.
PC gamers are also getting a few Xbox niceties. After the Anniversary Update, the Game Bar in the Xbox app will support 60fps recording when you set your quality setting to “Very High.” The Game Bar will also have full-screen support in six more games, including League of Legends, World of Warcraft, DOTA 2, Battlefield 4, Counterstrike: Global Offensive, and Diablo III.
Finally, there’s a new mobile Xbox app available for Android and iOS.
The impact on you at home: The Summer Update is rolling out now, but if you haven’t received it yet Windows Central has a guide on how to force it to come to you. Basically, you have to manually check for a system update, and doing that should force the update. This will also work on Tuesday, August 2nd for PC users looking to get an early jump on the Anniversary Update.