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You Can Now Control Your Xbox One With Google Assistant

The Xbox One's Kinect may be dead and gone, but Microsoft isn't quite ready to give up the dream of voice control on the console. We've seen the company try in the past with Cortana, before eventually opening up the Xbox One API to Amazon's Alexa. Now Google Assistant is getting in on the fun.


In a blog post on Major Nelson's website this morning, the Xbox team announced Google Assistant support for many of the Xbox One's most popular voice commands. After a few minutes of setup, Xbox One owners can use Google Assistant on smartphones, tablets, and Google Home Hub devices to do a lot of what Kinect used to.

For example, Google Assistant can: launch games; turn the console on and off; launch apps; pause and resume music and videos; turn volume up and down; take screenshots; and more. And if you've ever used Google Assistant — or Alexa, or any other assistant that is not Cortana — you've probably noticed that its voice recognition is worlds more accurate than what the Kinect used to offer.


And that leads us to perhaps the best feature of Google Assistant and its Xbox One connectivity: it won't pop up in the middle of your games and drive you absolutely batty.

According to Microsoft, those taking advantage of Google Assistant support on Xbox One will actually be able to use it with more than one console, thanks to Assistant's ability to rename devices. So if you happen to have a Living Room Xbox, for example, along with a Bedroom Xbox or Office Xbox, you can issue commands to each one separately without causing every Xbox One in your home to start playing Gears 5 or Netflix in unison.

As for now, Google Assistant support is available for all Xbox One owners in English, as it's in what Microsoft calls a "beta" period. Wider language support should be coming later this fall, however, so keep an eye out.

We'll report back should we learn more about the Xbox One's integration with Google Assistant. For now, we'll simply enjoy playing our games without swearing at Cortana.