For Xbox One gamers that also enjoy the convenience of digital assistants, there’s some good news: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant capabilities are coming soon. Currently, gamers can access Microsoft Cortana through a Kinect accessory or through headphones. However, Cortana’s abilities are limited, reported the Verge.
Many speculate that the new Alexa and Google Assistant capabilities won’t require extra accessories, but will instead use voice commands. The development comes after Xbox’s Alberto Penello joined Amazon. Penello is reportedly working on how to integrate digital assistants with gaming. The new features are likely to be available under a section called “Digital Assistants.”
The addition of Alexa and Google Assistant won’t end just with the Xbox One, either. It’ll include Xbox One S and the Xbox One X. Additionally, Windows 10 will support Cortana and Alexa in the near future.
There has been no date given for the rollout, but it’s supposed to happen “sooner rather than later,” according to NDTV.
Some of the expected capabilities of the new digital assistants may be functions like starting and stopping movies or navigating different screens, detailed Engadget. Other skills may be revealed soon.
For some gamers, however, the news may not be so welcome. For example, Amazon’s Alexa has been embroiled in some controversy, the latest of which involved the digital assistant recording a private conversation and sending it to a random contact. The private conversation took place between a Portland woman named Danielle and her husband, and it was sent to one of her husband’s employees. Amazon explained the mistake in a statement, detailed the Verge.
“Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like “Alexa.” Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a “send message” request. At which point, Alexa said out loud “To whom?” At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customers contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, “[contact name], right?” Alexa then interpreted background conversation as “right”. As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”
The incident undoubtedly made some users more wary of their Echo devices. It also shows that although the technology is cutting edge, there are some kinks and bugs in the system.
Additionally, some Alexa users reported that Alexa started laughing in a creepy manner. Some even believed Alexa was laughing at them. Amazon later disabled the laugh function.