Microsoft has quietly listed a dedicated Alexa For Xbox app, properly bringing Amazon’s virtual assistant to your home entertainment system.
A product listing was discovered on the Marketplace by leaker WalkingCat, which promises to bring Amazon’s “top features to your TV” by linking your console to an Echo or other compatible Alexa device. This will allow users to control Amazon Music playlists, check shopping lists, and check Ring doorbell cameras on their televisions. Alternately, it will enable players to launch games or power on consoles with voice commands from other Amazon devices.
This new application will likely replace the virtual assistant’s existing skills, which simply allow users to control their Xbox through the Alexa app or devices.
Alexa’s promotion will help fill the void left by Cortana, Microsoft’s own virtual assistant named after the Halo character, who was removed from Xbox One consoles in July 2019. Voice commands have still been possible in the interim with either the Kinect, Alexa, or Google Assistant. By fully integrating Amazon’s virtual assistant, however, Microsoft consoles can become a proper cog in the smarthome machine.
Microsoft and Amazon have not yet announced this new partnership officially. Both companies were hotly competing last year for a $10 billion contract with the US government, to update the Pentagon’s IT infrastructure. For now, the app is listed as “coming soon.”