Voice-control functionality is already a thing through the console itself, but now this expanded function via Xbox Skill will be available for select users starting Thursday. Xbox Skill will allow users to control their Xbox One through any device which uses Alexa or Cortana, meaning they can use a mobile phone, Windows 10 PC, Amazon Echo, etc. for certain commands.
Xbox Wire states that, for example, players can launch a game by simply saying “Alexa, start ‘Rocket League,'” and the Xbox One console will turn on, sign the player in, and launch the game automatically. Users can also control volume, control broadcasts played via Mixer, Microsoft’s streaming platform, launch non-game apps like Netflix, and even capture screenshots. Anyone who wants more examples of how to use voice commands can simply say, “Ask Xbox what can I say?” and more command suggestions will be offered.
Right now, Xbox Skill is only available to “select Xbox U.S. insiders” according to the news post from Harrison Hoffman, senior program manager at Xbox.
“We will be rolling the Xbox Skill out to Xbox Insider rings gradually,” Hoffman wrote. “If the Digital Assistant setting is visible on your console in Settings [then] Devices, then you are currently eligible to test the Xbox Skill. If it doesn’t appear, then please be patient as we are working quickly to add more Insider rings to the beta.”
Cortana users will need to sign in to their Xbox One and then link up via PC before using Xbox Skill here. Alexa users will need to sign in with their Amazon account here and enable the beta before signing in to their Microsoft account and letting Alexa discover their Xbox One console by following the instructions provided.