Tap dance on Kinect’s grave with Microsoft’s New Xbox Skill for Alexa
Stop searching for a Kinect Adapter for Xbox One and leave your cheap wired earbuds on your nightstand. Microsoft has a new Xbox Skill for Alexa that will let you turn on your Xbox One with a voice command like the good lord intended.
Microsoft revealed the new Xbox Skill for Alexa today on Xbox Wire. Well, technically the company revealed voice interaction for both Cortana and Alexa, but we all know which one of those most people will use. Flip a switch in an upcoming Xbox One update and your console will begin searching for compatible voice assistants. After you’ve installed the Xbox Skill in your Alexa app and given Amazon permission to interact with your Microsoft account, you can turn your console on, capture screenshots, open apps and adjust your TV’s volume.
Having bet pretty heavily on Cortana and Kinect because of voice control, I’m pretty happy that this is where we ended up. I held out for years on Alexa speakers because I hoped Microsoft would do something in this space. By the time it had, Amazon already had a runaway hit with the Echo. Since buying my first Echo after Microsoft revealed Alexa and Cortana would work together, I’ve purchased three more. I even briefly toyed with replacing my Xbox with the new Amazon Fire TV Cube because it has Alexa built-in. Now I can continue using the devices I already have to interact with the console I’ve depended on since Day One.
For now, the Xbox Skill for Alexa is only available to members of the Xbox Insiders Program. That’s the group of users that test new features weeks before they’re available for everyone else. I’ll let you know when it’s ready for the public. I’ll be the guy shouting it from the rooftops with a handful of Echo devices to stick in my closet, on my nightstand, and beside my front porch.
I joke, but not really.