Though many Xbox One owners had already moved on from Kinect by the time it become obsolete, Microsoft never introduced a genuine alternative to take its place. In fact, the only way to interact with your Xbox One or Xbox One X via voice commands (providing you don’t have or use a Kinect) is with a headset.
But that may soon change as Windows Central reports that an upcoming Xbox One software update will add support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to Microsoft’s gaming console. Based on an image leaked to the publication, the update will add a new “Digital assistants” section to the “Kinect & devices” menu where users will have the option to enable Cortana, Alexa, and Google Assistant by simply checking a box.
Once digital assistants have been enabled, users will be directed to install the Xbox skill on the app connected to their digital assistant of choice. The full set of features that will be available to Xbox One owners is unknown, but this looks like an easy way to bring back the best elements of the Kinect without reviving the actual hardware.
Windows Central also points out that former Xbox executive Albert Penello recently joined Amazon specifically to help expand Alexa’s presence in gaming. Bringing Alexa to the Xbox One would be a good first step to accomplishing this goal, especially with Cortana failing to catch on the way that Microsoft hoped it would.
Release timing for Alexa and Google Assistant support is unknown, but Windows Central expects “we’ll see an official announcement about this one sooner rather than later.” And don’t forget, E3 2018 is right around the corner.