The Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X could get Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant soon. Microsoft’s own virtual assistant, Cortana has been available on the Xbox One family of consoles for some time now albeit not in all regions. Although you can only use Cortana via a headset, it seems it won’t be the only one in the near future.
According to a report on Windows Central citing a “reliable source who is familiar with Amazon and Microsoft’s efforts to link Alexa and Cortana”, the Kinect and Devices option in work-in-progress Xbox One OS builds have a section called Digital Assistants that lets you use your Xbox One with these options. At the moment, the full set of features for these are unknown but it could bring back voice-assisted features Kinect users want.
No date for the addition of these features has been mention though Windows Central suggests that we could see an announcement “sooner rather than later”. Throw in the fact that Albert Penello, ex-marketing lead at Microsoft for Xbox has joined Amazon to grow Echo’s gaming presence, it lends credence to the possibility that integrating smart speakers with the Xbox One is on the cards. Considering Windows Central correctly leaked the cancellation of Scalebound and the existence of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, we won’t be surprised if this is true as well.
However, is this what the Xbox One needs at the moment? With a glaring lack of exclusives, is this what Microsoft needs to give the console a fighting chance? Granted it takes less time to integrate already existing tech such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but it does little to solve the fact outside of backwards compatibility, the reasons to own an Xbox One grow fewer and fewer. Hopefully E3 2018 changes this, but with a slate rumoured to be full of games also coming to the PS4, it seems unlikely.