Hey, Cortana..? 


Back in July, Microsoft replaced the Xbox voice commands with the Cortana assistant. As much as I love the Halo series, I’m not a Cortana fan. The actual in-game AI, yes. This god-awful Siri clone, no.

It’s supposedly more powerful and you can do more with it, but it’s just nowhere near as responsive as the old voice commands. 

The reasoning behind Cortana’s sluggishness isn’t because the Flood’s Gravemind has made away with her. Cortana’s “Hey Cortana…” commands take so long to process because everything you say is sent across the internet, made sense of on Microsoft’s servers and a response is sent back to your Xbox. The original “Xbox…” commands, however, are processed locally on your Xbox, so the waiting time is minimal.

Obviously, you need this if you asking questions or verbally searching for content. Cortana needs a few moments to understand what you actually said and to gather whatever information it can.

But if you primary use voice commands for simple navigation then Cortana is far worse at doing this than the original built-in commands. For example, “Hey Cortana… Go home” might take between 3 to 5 seconds whilst all those bytes fly round the internet. “Xbox… Go home” will take less than a second.

Take me back to what I know! I hate change.

Thankfully, Cortana can be disabled. This will revert your Xbox back to it’s original set of voice commands if you prefer them. Other voice features will also be disabled, such as the voice dictation and the functionality to use a headset to issue commands rather than the Kinect. Unfortunately, you can’t keep both the new features that Cortana brings and the speedy old Xbox commands – it’s one or the other. 

Of course, you can always re-enable Cortana and all her features at a later date if you so choose.

To change the setting on your Xbox One, head to All Settings > System > Cortana Settings. Hit the first slider and you’ll be prompted to restart your console.

Upon your next boot, the old commands will be back. To revert these changes, just go back into the Cortana settings and re-enable the slider.

Enough of these tips, back to what really matters… “I need a weapon”.


2 thoughts on “Hey, Cortana..? 

  1. Reblogged this on PIXELDUMP GAMING and commented:

    Here’s one of my first posts, and I still recommend doing this to any Xbox One owner. Whether you use a microphone or the Kinect to scream your commands, the original “Xbox…” commands work much better for recording clips and screenshots.

    After all, as Kincade said to 007 in Skyfall… “Sometimes the old ways are the best”.


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