It looks like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are coming to Xbox One

We've been hearing for months that Microsoft was working on Alexa support for Xbox One, complete with voice control support via compatible Amazon Echo (opens in new tab) speakers. Today, we've seen hard evidence that not only shows Alexa support is coming, but also support for Google Assistant.

Since the death of Kinect, Microsoft hasn't really provided users with a decent alternative for controlling your console via voice commands. Sure, you can use a headset to speak with Cortana, but who is wearing a headset while watching a movie, when all you want to do is control the volume on your TV?

This picture comes to us from a reliable source who is familiar with Amazon and Microsoft's efforts to link Alexa and Cortana. In upcoming Xbox One builds, the Kinect & Devices menu should have a new "Digital Assistants" section, which lets you enable Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana, for use on your Xbox One. It then directs you to install the Xbox skills app for those respective platforms to get connected. The full range of features for those assistants remains unknown, but it could bring back many of the voice-assisted features abandoned Kinect users are yearning for.

Microsoft dropped the ball on Cortana's potential, pivoting her away from consumer capabilities and more into the productivity arena. As such, Cortana will soon be an "app" for Amazon Echo and probably other connected speakers, although she is available in a dedicated US-only speaker built by Harman/Kardon, called the Invoke (opens in new tab). It looks like Microsoft is allowing Amazon and Google to step up to give us back some of those voice-assisted dedicated microphone features too.

As always, plans can change at any time before launch, but I expect we'll see an official announcement about this one sooner rather than later. Former Xbox console marketing lead Albert Penello recently joined Amazon specifically to grow the Echo's presence in gaming. With Kinect out of the picture, integrating other connected speakers with Xbox is a total no-brainer.

You can grab an Amazon Echo Dot speaker for as little as $39.99 (opens in new tab). If you want a higher-quality speaker, you can grab a regular Echo (in a range of colors) for $99 (opens in new tab), or a smart-home hub version for $149 (opens in new tab).

See Amazon Echo at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

137 Comments
  • I dont see Microsoft doing any drastic change to push cortana. It had its peak along with windows phone. Now it is all downhill for her.
  • It takes years for a new CEO of huge company to make his mark, good or bad. Basically, the results of first few years are set by the inertia of the bureaucracy. Mobile is Ballmer's fault, and he's admitted it. But as bad as they were in mobile, Ballmer did have them set to exploit the Cloud wave with Azure and Office 365. Only now, with Andromeda, are we about to see the first of Nadella. Is he a visionary and great CEO, or just someone that cut costs where Ballmer failed and road the coattails where Ballmer was right? We're about find out this fall.
  • I accidently hit the report button please disregard. Also, Nutella is not good at his job in regards to Microsoft fans.
  • His job is not to make "Microsoft fans" happy...there simply isn't enough Microsoft fans to cater to with more failed consumer products. Thanks Balmer....
  • Google Assistant on my Xbox One? Yes please. Assuming it doesn't become some region restricted crap like both companies are capable of.
  • Hey Cortana, goodbye.
  • LMAO!
  • Yeah :))) because "why does the world need another virtual assistant?"
  • Right..on another note, who wants to learn 2 assistants? Lets see, this one turns it on, this one for the volume... Screw that, give me the option for one that does everything! This one for xbox, this one for PC... Give me amazon on ALL my devices! Cortana has slid off the the wall after sticking to it for some time...
  • I hope it will work with the Harmon Kardon Cortana speaker as well. Alexa or Google Assistant sounds good too though! If they aren't going to do more for Cortana then this is the obvious next step
  • I will ***** a brick if it doesn't.
  • It's incredible how badly Microsoft dropped the ball here. They had the first-mover's advantage in this market when the Xbox One with Kinect launched in 2013. Now, here we are 4.5 years later and they've capitulated entirely and, not surprisingly, their biggest competitors are swooping in and taking over the space.
  • Same goes for WMR...
  • WMR is close to death after the team was dismanteled. Soon to follow Bing, Movies & TV and other stuff Nadella can come up with destroying. They say Cortana will be business only :))) What a plain BS! the same pathetic excuse to avoid saying it's done! Companies are disabling Cortana and that Store app...
  • We wont be using it for business... Maybe it has a place in the office 365 space but we have no plans for o365.
  • "We are committed to Cortana" or some other famous last words......
  • "We are committed to Xbox". There is another half you're conveniently leaving out. This is nothing but great news for Xbox owners, which is REALLY the only thing that matters in this case: giving THEM a choice. We could, I dunno, celebrate that fact.
  • Why in the hell are you in the comments section being sensible, Dan? You know that's not allowed.
  • The nerve of him lol..
  • Agreed! Having this choice is what will keep me using my xbox rather than move to a chromecast or nvidia shield for my media.
  • Aren't they all useless without the microphone-remote you've been asking for?
  • Kinect is discontinued, plugging headphones into the controller, picking it up, turning it on, adjusting the headset.... (sigh)
  • If this is being done in the way the post implies, then any smart speaker or smartphone will function as the mic.
  • "Aren't they all useless without the microphone-remote you've been asking for?"
    Last quarter just over 5 million Echo and Google Home speakers were sold. I'm sure a few of those households who bought one also have an Xbox. If not, maybe the other 9 million sold in 2017 may have an Xbox as well. Fingers crossed. That is how this works.
  • Giving choices at the cost of leaving first party AI?
  • "Giving choices at the cost of leaving first party AI?"
    That's not at all what this is, but if you want to read it that way, knock yourself out. I don't see Cortana support going away at all (it's listed right there) and I'm quite certain Microsoft could do more natively with AI/Cortana/voice on Xbox than Google or Amazon could, since, you know, neither own that platform.
  • Considering a lot of parts of the World still don't have Cortana support on Xbox it hasn't even arrived to go away yet. I will be particularly peeved if this set up will require Cortana functionality, but I'm hoping they will just use their own services and not just act as a mic for Microsoft's.
  • Yes, I don't mind them providing the means for millions of Google Assistant and Alexa users around the world connect with ppl's choice of console, Xbox in MSFT's case. But it's frustrating to see them procrastinate on some of their products that should be competing with others right now. And we know there's a lot of potential in it, which is exhausting. I've mentioned above that MSFT is leaving Cortana out because you know, on one hand they are concentrating on their hardware business with cross platform support (which is ok) and on the other hand they put some of their own services and products to rest for sooo long till everyone around them catches up and be more successful in a specific market. And in the end what a typical MSFT will do? Announce, there's no need for a third so and so...
  • Well, at Microsoft Build, they just showed Alexa/Cortana integration. I'd say that allowing Xbox users access to other IA assistants is not a bad tradeoff for gaining access to all of the Alexa devices with Cortana, since they now work together. There's videos on YouTube that show this Cortana/Alexa integration on an Echo device.
  • If you believe users want to control Alexa via Cortana you are clearly delusional. Congrats!
  • I imagine it's the same now with Google Home and my Harmony Remote. I have to tell Google to tell Harmony to turn on my tv. More words to say but it works.
  • Bruh, what is you talking about... Microsoft is committed to Zune, Zune Pass, Xbox Music, Groove Music, Windows Phone, Windows Mobile, Kinect, UWP, and so on and so forth and what have you.
  • Those 10 people will be devastated, for sure. Microsoft is really suffering these days with their stock plummeting and distrust so high, I mean, clearly the next IBM. Look, if there is ONE thing we have learned in the last few years is fans of Windows Phones should never have their opinions counted.
  • I've been on this site for 2009 and I never thought something like this would come from you, the WC editor, to those of us who embraced MS's vision, and supported their consumer efforts to the last. Disgusting. You should be embarrassed.
  • Relax, just sit back and enjoy the ride at least...seeing MS being so desperate
  • Yeah, MS are so desperate with their $100 share price. They're really hurting.
  • But WM is destined to fall, and there's very few WM user to disappoint. I too think WM fan are just being illogical.
    It's an OS that has a Windows name, but not really a Windows. Late to the game, with 0 user and 0 dev to start. Reason why I didn't care and went for Nexus. WoA is a smarter move (cause it's a PC).
  • Same could be said for fans of UWP! LOL
  • Sounds like what they said about kinect.
    Spencer when he took over "For us it[kinect] remains a long term commitment to both games and platform."
    Spencer in 2016: "Kinect will succeed based on how much people enjoy using it."
  • I mean, to be fair, as a company are you not allowed to say "we support something" only to have the market/dynamics change years later necessitating a pivot? Are companies supposed to be beholden to failed ideas just because forever?
  • If a company needs to change directions that is fine. Here is my problem. In June of 2017 when talking about the release of XBOX One X they said and had write ups that all your peripherals will work. No extra cables needed. Just plug and play. Imagine my surprise as a day one purchaser (just 4 months later) when I had to go buy a cable for my Kinect that I moved over from my Xbox one. I was one of the fortunate ones that was able to get that adapter before MS said they were stopping the production of and the price inflated exorbitantly.
    Sure it’s a company’s prerogative to change directions but within just a few months of saying all was well seems a bit underhanded to me. How about at least a little warning?
    I loved Kinect in the beginning and the potential it had and I still use it to this day.
    As a side, I always enjoy your podcasts and articles even if I don't always agree. :-)
  • @Daniel Rubino
    Ok let's be honest here.
    How many games did they make for kinect since 2013? One? Two?
    They knew they weren't going to support the product by making games for it when they forced it on gamers. They knew they weren't going to support it with games when they making these statements. I understand the idea of defending a company as much as possible but let's not defend it no matter what.
    MS should take responsibility for the failure of the kinect and also own up to the statements and promises they used to make about supporting it (even though they weren't really).
  • I think over the past years we've got used to MS lying. I won't believe a damn word those guys say.
  • Sony said good things about Vita, Vaio and many other products, and they still drop the support.
    Google / Apple drop products too. (unless... you don't read news)
  • @Hirox
    Ah the classic "but others are doing it too" argument. We're talking about supporting a product.
    Sony made a lot more games for Vita than MS made for kinect.
    Enough said.
    It's about making false promises. Can you post the links about what Sony said and when did they say it? Because unlike you who mostly come with "Sony said", I actually post exact quotes.
  • And I'm saying there's no exception / this is common sense. > Sony made a lot more games for Vita than MS made for kinect.
    So? Tried and failed.
    Vita gets no loves from gamers and devs, we drop. Fan or enthusiast are not the only one that buys products, that is why console market in Japan are shrinking. Sony released many wonky products in Japan, many have failed. 3rd time I post the link, maybe it's time for you to remember it.
    Sony stands: http://www.4gamer.net/games/990/G999024/20160701111/
    Devs stands: http://news.denfaminicogamer.jp/interview/171229/3
  • Can you understand?
    MS didn't even try because they hardly made any game for their product. They hardly made anything but still kept hyping kinect. lol posting japanese links. Just post exact statements instead of posting Japanese stuff. I don't speak Japanese. For your information this is an english comment section...
  • > MS didn't even try because they hardly made any
    > game for their product.
    Funniest claim... do you work inside MS's campus? > They hardly made anything but still kept hyping kinect.
    Hype? Even after honeymoon, few month after lunching? http://news.denfaminicogamer.jp/interview/171229/3
    ctrl+f "どのくらい落ちるの?」と聞いたら" then continue reading.
    ctrl+f "日本のコンシューマーでいちばん辛かっ" then continue reading. http://www.4gamer.net/games/990/G999024/20160701111/
    use ctrl+f "先日のE3ではPlayStation Vitaの話題はとくにありませんでした" then start reading. Sure they tried.
  • "Funniest claim... do you work inside MS's campus?"
    Are you having a laugh? The games they make and release is public information. LOL LOL Once again posting Japanese stuff. As expected. Knowing you, it must just be bs.
  • remove cause of double post
  • Those who used the Kinect on here seemed to enjoy it. Too bad it tanked at the time I was ready to pick one up.
  • I don't get it ...why can't ms improve cortana instead of adding Alexa & Google assistant to its own platforms. :(
  • Because everyone already uses Alexa and Google Assistant. Why is this anything but a good thing for Xbox owners? Know what I can't do on my PS4? Any of this.
  • Ummm.....yes but i think....ms can at least try it's best to improve cortana (give it features & skills) & then add GA or Alexa if needed
  • There's no reason to suspect that Cortana is being left out. But if you have a Google Home or an Echo, then you can use them too. If you have an Invoke, it'll also work. Or you can use any of the three assistants on your smartphone.
  • Why not JUST include it? Can Alexa talk to PS4? If you have an Alexa already, won't you try to / wanna pair it with a xbox?
  • Not saying it's bad for Xbox owners.....but instead of relying on those 2.....ms can improve cortana a lot. The smart assistant war isn't over at all. Ms has everything....money, talent, skills & a huge user base on pc n Xbox.....this will eventually help amdromeda category of devices....as those will have a awsm assistant as well.
  • Yes this I agree, put effort and your money on various things and let them grow only to merge them as One experience later on, which will be a massive hit.
  • Cortana is taking a backseat and heading to the backend, do a search on cortana...
  • @devine,Take a step back, you are too close to fully understand how this affects users. You keep telling us what we should be happy about without understanding why we are not.
  • Because "why does the world need another virtual assistant"
  • I want nothing to do with Alexa or Google assistant.
  • That's fine. Millions of other people do though. And Microsoft is catering to what its users are using.
  • There might be one or two more Cortana users if she was allowed out of the US. Currently, Google and Alexa have the world. Cortana has one country. No wonder everyone uses the competition. To decide that Cortana has failed before it has even been released is bonkers.
  • Doesn't take a business school grad to realize its Alexa and Google Home for AI assistant. What can Microsoft...or ANY other company do at this point to try to gain a meaningful following? If you want to talk about MS previous failures with rolling out Cortana sure, but you can't possible think pumping more money into trying to make it a consume