Recently, Amazon announced that its second-generation Fire TV Cube would support Zoom calls (via TechHive). The move made me think about Microsoft's Xbox consoles and how they've shifted in terms of communication.
Back in the days of the Xbox One, you could hop on a Skype call using your Kinect as a webcam. The setup would even follow you around the room using some smart features and zoom. In 2021, words like Skype and Kinect seem archaic when it comes to communication.
With Skype pretty much abandoned on the Xbox platform, the Kinect in the grave (at least for gaming), and Mixer dead, it's easy to forget that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S even support webcams. You can, however, use a webcam with the new consoles. I think it's time that Microsoft takes advantage of that fact by bringing Microsoft Teams to Xbox consoles.
Not just about work and school, right?
Microsoft Teams is, supposedly, not just about work and education. When Microsoft added the Chat app powered by Teams to Windows 11, it sent a message that it wants the service to be for everyday use with friends and family. If that's genuinely the case, then Microsoft should make Teams available on more of its devices.
Imagine a Microsoft-centered world in which a college student hops on their Xbox Series S to talk with their parents on the Teams-powered Chat app on Windows 11. Do I think that's likely? No. But if Microsoft is trying to convince people that Teams is a viable app for casual communication, it can't assume people will avoid it.
Obviously, Teams wouldn't replace Xbox Party Chat or any other gaming-centric features. That's not what it's meant for, even if it ever makes its way to consoles. It would be for people who want to put a group call or meeting on a bigger screen. Amazon and Zoom certainly seem to think people want to make video calls in the living room.
Microsoft already has the technology
While webcam support isn't highlighted often by Microsoft, you can use a webcam with an Xbox Series X or S. You can also use them with the Xbox One and One S. We even have a guide on how to use any USB webcam with Skype for Xbox One. I'm sure that Microsoft could use the tech it already has to bring a version of Teams to consoles.
The full version of Teams probably doesn't make sense on a console. While the Xbox Series X and S support keyboards, I don't think they're built with sending messages in Teams in mind. Instead, Microsoft could have an experience like the Chat app on Windows 11 that's powered by Teams but catered to its environment.
Would you use it?
While I would love to see Teams make its way to the Xbox family of consoles, I could be off base. Would you actually use a Teams app on your Xbox? Let us know in the comments below.
If enough people use Teams on their console, a webcam could become one of the best Xbox Series X accessories.