Typically a staple feature on smart speakers, mobile phones, and TVs, digital assistants might soon also be invading home consoles, if reports are to be believed.
Windows Central reports that future versions of the Xbox One dashboard include the ability to toggle digital assistants on. The console only supports Microsoft's own digital assistant, Cortana, at the moment, but it's not particularly skilled and feature-rich in its present state. That's why Assistant and Alexa could be great additions to the console.
Google Assistant And Amazon Alexa On Xbox One
The rumored expansion could mean Xbox One users will be able to control their console via both assistants. The range of functionalities Xbox One will get remain unknown, but this could mean users won't need a Kinect or headset anymore just to be able to control their console using voice commands.
It's not clear exactly how this will work, but one possibility is pairing an Assistant-powered phone to an Xbox One and continuing from there. Another is pairing an Amazon Echo device to the console.
Microsoft has largely abandoned the Kinect platform, and because voice commands currently aren't possible on Xbox One unless you're wearing a headset, users are left with no decent alternatives. After all, who wants to wear a headset if they only want to, say, lower the volume down? No one wants to have to go through all that trouble just to perform the most basic commands.
Again, the full range of features Assistant and Alexa will provide is unknown, but it could bring back many of the voice-assisted features abandoned Kinect users want to see again.
Don't Get Excited Yet
Windows Central's evidence is pretty convincing, but it should go without saying that this still belongs in the "speculation" category of things. Even though, say, that this is actually true, plans could still change at any point during development, but the publication thinks Microsoft will make an announcement about this feature sooner rather than later.
Given that Microsoft and Amazon are working together to integrate Alexa and Cortana and put them on all future Windows 10 laptops, it's not surprising that Alexa will arrive on Xbox One. Still take everything with a grain of salt, though.
Are you an Xbox One user? If Microsoft integrates it with Alexa or Assistant, would you find that particularly useful? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!