Xbox owners now have access to a smart assistant, and it’s not Google, as Alexa arrives on the Microsoft console.
The smart home is coming, and depending on how much of an early adopter you are, it’s something you can get stuck into now.
You can jazz up your home lighting with smart lights, add speakers that can listen for your voice, and even employ a little bit in the security world to make your home switched on.
And a smart assistant will help you bring it all together, giving you someone to talk to for controlling these functions using your voice.
There are four major smart assistants, but only two are mainly used, and those are Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant. Depending on the device in your life, you may rely on one more than the other, though you can find them on more than one gadget, with devices like the Sonos One supporting both at the same time.
Not everything has connected with smart assistant as of yet, and while you can find them in speakers, phones, TVs, and more, video game consoles haven’t really connected.
At least until now, because as of July, Alexa is on the Xbox.
As part of a July 2019 update for the Xbox One, Microsoft is rolling out Alexa support for the Xbox One, supporting voice controls in different languages, as well as being able to use your voice to use the Xbox One service.
Some of the functions include the looking for games on the Xbox Game Pass service, or to find out what your friends are doing. You can even ask Alexa to pair a controller, which will put an Xbox One into pairing mode and kickstart the game controller connection process.
You will need a phone with the Alexa app or a computer, or even one of the Alexa-enabled speakers to make it happen, though, because Alexa isn’t built into a microphone for the Xbox One. That’s more of an Xbox issue altogether, because it doesn’t have a microphone built in.
However even though the Kinect motion accessory does have a microphone, you can’t use it to fire off Alexa for the Xbox at all. Even though the Kinect was once a major part of the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One, it has seen reduced usage in games over the years, so much that we’re not sure many publishers are actively using it in development anymore.
As such, if you want to use Alexa on your Xbox One, you’ll want a phone, an Amazon Echo, a Windows 10 PC, or a Sonos. Essentially, you’ll need something that supports Alexa as it is, and not hope for a microphone plugged into the Xbox in the first place.