Despite having the most “personality” among the smart assistants, thanks to being based on an actual game character, Cortana is perhaps even flatter than Apple’s Siri when it comes to capabilities. Microsoft might, instead, be opting to just embrace as many such assistants on its platforms as possible. Alexa has just recently made an appearance for the first time on Windows 10 desktops and notebooks and now it seems that the Xbox One will get double the fun with both Alexa and Google Assistant coming soon.
Truth be told, an AI-powered smart assistant on a gaming console might not make the best sense considering the specific and limited capabilities of a console. At the same time, however, it does save you from having to type in commands or push buttons to get to the screens or options that you want.
That has mostly been what Cortana offers on the Xbox One. That is, provided you have an accessory that lets you speak to your console. You can control playback of videos, ask Cortana to show which friends are online, or even ask her to research a few things.
A leaked photo now shows that she won’t be the only one soon. An insider build would allow users to enable digital assistants, plural, which would include Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Enabling that would then redirect users to select which skills they want enabled.
The biggest question now is which skills would those be. No one knows yet, aside from what Cortana already provides. But Google Assistant and Alexa are a lot more capable than that and it would be a huge waste if they weren’t allowed to do more. Perhaps they could turn the Xbox One into a smart home hub in addition to being a home entertainment hub.