Microsoft Xbox One Adds Google Assistant Support
Xbox One players can now control the video game system with Google Assistant. The latest update for Microsoft’s console brings the Xbox Action for Google Assistant to all users after a beta test this fall.
The Xbox action can be added to the Google Home app on iOS and Android. After connecting the Google account to the Microsoft account, the voice assistant can control all of the standard Xbox functions. Along with turning on the console and launching games, Google Assistant can take photos and videos of games in progress and turn on live TV if the Xbox One is configured for it.
The Google Assistant connection comes a little over a year after Microsoft added Amazon Alexa support for the console. The Google Assistant integration attempts to improve upon the earlier Xbox One voice assistants with new features, such as allowing users to name different Xbox consoles to make it easier to control multiple consoles from one device. Adding Xbox One to Google Assistant also comes with the option of making the console part of a Google Assistant Routine, where one command to the voice assistant could dim lights, turn on the console, and otherwise make a living room more conducive for playing video games.
More Voices for Video Games
There’s a growing interest in applying voice assistants to video game consoles and related systems. At the same time, Xbox One is getting Google Assistant not long after Microsoft ended its support for its own Cortana voice assistant on the console. That fits with Microsoft’s recent strategy regarding Cortana as the voice assistant is folded into productivity and business apps and removing shutting down the independent Cortana app.
Still, game developers are experimenting with game-specific voice apps connected to voice assistant platforms including for Xbox One and other systems are including new voice assistants too. Beyond Microsoft, recent Sony patents suggest the forthcoming PlayStation 5 will include a comprehensive voice assistant that will aid players in games as well as carry out commands. Google Assistant is also an integral part of Stadia, the Google streaming video game service announced at Made by Google in October, although that function may not launch with the game platform. Even the Oculus Quest virtual reality system may be getting a voice assistant as a way for Oculus and parent company Facebook to encourage more varied use of the device. All of this speaks to the level voice technology has risen to and the understanding by video game developers of the potential for voice assistants to improve gaming.