Microsoft is deepening its ties to Amazon Alexa by allowing the voice assistant to control Xbox One consoles. With the new Xbox skill for Alexa, users can ask to turn on the console, launch games, control video playback, capture gameplay footage, and start recording through Microsoft’s Mixer streaming service. Microsoft’s Cortana assistant is gaining the same skills on Windows 10 PCs and certain smart speakers such as the Harmon Kardon Invoke. (Controlling an Xbox through Cortana previously required a gaming headset or the now-abandoned Kinect.)
For now, Alexa and remote Cortana controls are limited to the Xbox Insider program, which lets users test new features that are still under development. It’s unclear when those controls will become available to all Xbox users. The Xbox tie-in comes less than a month after Microsoft and Amazon started allowing their respective voice assistants to talk to one another.