You can now use Alexa or Cortana to control your Xbox One

Alexa, play some games

You can use Alexa to control Xbox

While it's been possible to use Alexa on your Xbox One, it hasn't been possible to control your Xbox with either Alexa or Cortana on another device. Microsoft and Amazon are changing that, making Alex a natural-occurring way to control your Xbox.

It's all a part of the new Xbox Skill, which was previously only available to Microsoft's Xbox Insider program. However, a new software update has rolled out to Xbox One owners in the US enabling Alexa and Cortana for all. It's a rather in-depth skill, allowing you to power your Xbox One console on or off, launch apps and games, start parties, change volume, capture screenshots and more.

Read this: How to use Xbox One as a smart home hub

You'll essentially be able to use Alexa (or Cortana, don't forget about it) to do whatever you'd like. You can turn on your Xbox from across the room, launch Forza Horizon 4, start a party, turn up the volume and then start a stream on Microsoft's Twitch competitor, Mixer - just by using Alexa.

You will have to link your Microsoft and Alexa accounts in the Alexa app. You'll also have to go and update your Xbox One to the latest software update. Once you've done that, you'll have to head to your Xbox One's Settings app and check out the Devices submenu and then head to "Digital Assistant" and make sure it's on.

Alexa and Cortana have the exact same abilities here, so you're not missing out by choosing one over the other. You can simply choose the one you prefer and go with that. If you want to learn what they can do for you on Xbox, you can ask.

You can also give Microsoft feedback on what you want Alexa to do in the future. Just say "Alexa, tell Xbox I wish I could..." and fill in the blank to request a feature. Oh, while you're using Alexa on Xbox you'll know it works by a small little Alexa Xbox logo in the upper right corner of the display.

If you want to use Cortana, sign into your Xbox and then sign in to your Windows 10 PC, then locate the Xbox skill and connect your accounts. For Alexa, download the Xbox Skill and then sign in to it with your Microsoft account. You'll need to let Alexa discover your console, and once you do you just follow the instructions to pair.

Naturally, the Xbox Skill will allow you to control your Xbox One from a number of devices, including the Harmon Kardon Invoke, Sonos One, Amazon Echo, Windows 10 PCs and more.


Top Alexa-compatible gear

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