Microsoft’s Kinect was a good idea that never really found a definitive place with Xbox owners. It brought voice commands and gestures to the console, enabling owners to launch games, control media and more with just a few swipes or shouts. It’s now officially dead, with Microsoft focusing on Windows Mixed Reality and supporting third-party devices and services, including Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant. Here’s how Alexa on Xbox One works.
First, support for Alexa is in beta and rolling out to Xbox Insiders in stages, depending on their “level” and Xbox One Update Preview group. You can control the Xbox One with any Alexa-enabled device across nine specific categories ranging from loading a game to broadcasting to changing system settings. You can also control your Xbox One using the Alexa app for Android and iOS.
Now let’s get started with Alexa on Xbox with a quick introduction to Amazon’s assistant!
Who is Alexa?
This is Amazon’s cloud-based digital assistant launched at the end of 2014. Alexa is compatible with the company’s Echo devices, Fire TV, Fire HD, Android and iOS-powered phones and tablets. Simply start your command with the assistant’s name, such as, “Alexa, how is the weather outside?” and it will respond accordingly. The service is free, requires an account and an internet connection if you want to use the assistant outside Amazon’s base services and devices.
The ideal setup for controlling the Xbox One with Alexa is to use Amazon’s $50 Echo Dot. But as previously stated, you can use the Alexa smartphone app as well but that requires you to unlock the mobile device, load up the app and tap the Alexa virtual button. That said, you’re simply better off making the $50 investment if you want hands-free voice control.
Finally, note that you don’t need to manually pair Alexa with Cortana on a Windows 10 PC. Controlling the Xbox One is a stand-alone Alexa skill set stemming from the recent partnership between Amazon and Microsoft.
1. First, sign into your Xbox One console.
2. Next, navigate to System > Settings > Kinect & devices > Digital assistants, as shown above.
3. Check “Enable digital assistants,” as shown above.
4. Next, on a PC, head here.
5. Create and/or sign in with your Amazon Alexa account.
6. Enable the Xbox (Beta) skill. Come back here to disable if needed, as shown above.
7. Pair your console with Alexa.
Now that you’ve introduced Alexa to your Xbox One, here’s how she can whip it into shape!
To get the full list of commands, say the following:
Alexa, ask Xbox what can I say?
After that, here are the commands you can say to control your Xbox One console:
- Alexa, tell Xbox to restart.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to turn on.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to turn off.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to wake up.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to next.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to pause.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to play.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to previous.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to stop.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to mute.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to unmute.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to turn the volume up.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to turn the volume down.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to record that.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to take a screenshot.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to invite [first name of person] to a party.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to launch [game or app name].
- Alexa, tell Xbox to start a party.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to start a broadcast.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to stop broadcasting.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to change the channel to [channel number or network].
- Alexa, tell Xbox to watch TV.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to file a bug.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to go back.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to go home.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to check my notifications.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to send a message.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to show friends / party / messages / achievements / settings [or any other] tab.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to show the menu.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to sign in.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to sign out.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to redeem a code.
- Alexa, tell Xbox to search the store for [query].
- Alexa, tell Xbox I wish I could [your request].
- Alexa, tell Xbox that didn’t work.
Pair a device
- Alexa, tell Xbox to pair.