Microsoft announced today that they would be rolling out a new beta on to add support and better voice capabilities for Google Assistant. The company made the call from consumer feedback, and have decided to act on it to better suit the needs of their community. Below are some of the details from today’s announcement where they also detail how you can get in on the beta to test it out. If you actually use the assistant on your console, this is a good time to get in on the front end of seeing improvements.
Based on your feedback, we expanded our voice command capabilities with the release of the Xbox Skill for Alexa and Cortana last fall. We are excited to announce we’re further expanding our digital assistant capabilities on Xbox One with the Xbox Action for the Google Assistant. The new Xbox Action for the Google Assistant releases to public beta on Xbox One today and is available to all customers in English during the beta period. Google and Xbox are working together to expand language support before launching more broadly to the Xbox community later this fall.
According to a report, using the Google Assistant to control an Xbox One is simple. One can just say, “Hey Google, turn on Xbox” to a Google Assistant device or the phone. One will hear the console power-up following the voice command. Xbox users can also rename their consoles if they own multiple ones.
Xbox Action for Google Assistant is currently limited to English, as it’s in a beta testing stage. Google and Microsoft are working together to expand language support before a full launch of the service this fall. As of now, beta testers can turn the console on or off, launch games and apps, pause and resume, adjust volume and take screenshots. Notably, all Google Assistant and Xbox One users can join the beta program. One has to just sign into their accounts and add their Xbox as a device, which will be listed under “
Assuming these features are integrated with the next-gen Xbox, the so-called Scarlett, from the outset, it’ll give the fledgling console an edge over the competition among smart home enthusiasts. The PS4 currently doesn’t really work with any of the popular voice assistants except through some clever IFTTT recipes. I don’t even want to imagine what it would take to make the Switch work with Google Assistant
All Google Assistant and Xbox One users can join the beta program. Just sign into your accounts and add your Xbox as a device, which will be listed under “[beta] Xbox.” Kinect wasn’t a big seller, but the voice controls were a useful feature of the motion-tracking device. Having similar functionality with just a smart speaker or phone is a convenient (and free) solution, so the more virtual assistants that are compatible, the better. It seems doubtful that Siri will be joining Alexa, Assistant and Cortana on the Xbox, though.