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Xbox One summer update begins its rollout to users

New features, such as Background Music, are coming to the console

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Xbox One's summer update has begun rolling out to users this weekend. It may take a couple of days for some to receive the prompt that downloads the patch, but the update delivering Cortana, background music and more is on the way now.

The summer update is the roughly same collection of features pushed to Xbox One Preview in early June. The two biggest inclusions are Background Music and Cortana, and the game collection window has been cleaned up and made more useful, particularly in installing and updating games.

Background Music supports the Pandora app, which will launch soon on Xbox One. Later on Groove Music and iHeartRadio will join the console. (Spotify will not; it is currently available only on PlayStation 4). As its title implies, Background Music lets gamers play their favorite tunes as they game on Xbox One.

Cortana, the virtual assistant well known to Windows 10 users, comes to the console to help users execute voice commands, perform searches and join multiplayer sessions with greater clarity. Cortana hears the user through either the Kinect microphone or a headset microphone plugged into a controller.

The improved Game Collection window helps users sort and view their installed games more easily. It also adds "Ready to Install" and "Update" tabs so that users can find games needing either process more quickly and get those downloads going.

Language independence, a highly requested feature, also comes with the summer update. It simply means that a user may set the language for his or her console to something other than the one used in his region; for example, using English even if they live in Germany. Xbox One will also be able to link a user's Facebook account to find friends from the social network who are playing games. The console's screenshot and video sharing has also been streamlined so that those tasks are more easily accomplished.

The summer update clears the way for the launch, on Tuesday, of the new Xbox One S (the 2 TB model; 500 GB and 1 TB editions go on shelves three weeks later). Other Xbox Live features announced at E3, such as Clubs, the Arena, and Looking for Group, will be added to the service with an update around the holiday season.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Spotify had an exclusive partnership with PlayStation. It does not. That reference has been removed.

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