Amazon’s virtual brain Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana can now turn on Xbox devices, launch games, take screenshots and more under an integration between the game console and digital assistants that goes live today.
The Xbox skill for Cortana and Alexa, which was first unveiled for Xbox Insiders last month, comes as part of the console’s October Update. The feature shows how deeply ingrained digital assistants are becoming in Microsoft products, whether it’s the company’s own in Cortana, or Alexa, thanks to a surprising partnership between the two tech giants.
The skill requires an Alexa- or Cortana-enabled device such as a Windows 10 PC, Amazon Echo, Harman Kardon Invoke speaker, or Sonos One. To set up the skill, start by saying “Alexa, open Xbox” or “Hey Cortana, open Xbox.”
Amazon will soon offer a package deal for U.S. purchases of qualified Xbox One X and Xbox One S bundles that also includes an Echo Dot.
The Xbox skill for Alexa and Cortana is one of several new features to come from the October update. Here are the other updates to Xbox this month:
- Xbox updated its avatars with more customization options, including body types and clothes.
- Support for Dolby Vision enables “enhanced HDR” streaming capabilities across the Xbox lineup.
- Xbox Narrator can now speak five additional languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Swedish and Dutch. Xbox also added an Australian accent to the English option.