Is Voice Control Making a Comeback on Xbox One?
It appears that the Xbox One, via an upcoming system update, will soon add support for digital assistants like the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Since Microsoft abandoned the Kinect 2.0 last year there hasn’t really been an adequate way to control your console with your voice. Cortana is certainly a welcome addition but it is somewhat limited since it requires a connected headset at all times. That isn’t always feasible especially when all you want to do is check the NHL scores or lower the volume on your TV.
That appears to be changing according to a picture sent to Windows Central from a reliable source. The picture, seen above, is a screenshot of the Kinect & Devices menu in the Xbox One’s Settings app. It looks like there will be a new “Digital Assistants” section where players can enable their smart speakers. Once it’s enabled, the console will direct you to install the Xbox skills app on your phone in order to connect your assistant.
Exactly what sort of commands can be said to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant remains unknown, but it’s safe to say that they’ll function in the same way Kinect 2.0 and Cortana are currently able to. Hopefully, by adding more digital assistants, Microsoft will make a harder push to add even more commands to the mix.
Windows Central also mentions that Cortana will soon be an “app” for Amazon Echo and Google Home, which means some sort of partnership and agreement has been finalized between the companies.
While nothing is confirmed yet, we’re expecting an announcement pretty soon, possibly even next week at E3. Former Xbox marketing head Albert Penello recently joined Amazon to help grow the Echo’s presence in gaming, so this might be his own doing. Either way, this is a great addition to Xbox One especially with the rise of smart speakers in households.