Xbox One Adds Support For Alexa And Cortana Via External Device
Microsoft will be bringing external voice assistant support to the Xbox One family of consoles, and it looks like users will be able to choose between the company’s own Cortana assistant or the more widely adapted Alexa from Amazon.
Adding the voice assistant functionality is currently only available to Insider testers who receive beta-versions of the console’s firmware ahead of the global release. The assistants can be turned on via a ‘Skill’, and allow you to use your voice to launch games, control broadcasts, and media, give shortcuts to system settings or locations or turn the console on and off. Taking screenshots and changing the volume is also a possibility.
For clarity, Alexa and Cortana won’t be available on the console itself – you still need a smart device (such as a smartphone, Windows 10 device or supported smart speaker) which is now able to control your Xbox One.
For example, you can talk to your Amazon Echo speaker and give the command “Alexa, start Grand Theft Auto”. The speaker will send a command to the Xbox One console, which will automatically boot the system and the requested game.
The new feature is still in testing for a number of Insiders and requires a Microsoft or Amazon command. Cortana is already available in a standalone version on the Xbox One, although you’ll need a headset or Kinect to use it.