The Xbox team is adding a new Xbox Skill to allow users to use voice commands to do tasks like turning on and off their Xbox One consoles; adjust volume; launch games and apps; start and stop broadcasts on Mixer; capture screenshots and clips and more. That Xbox Skill will work with Cortana- and Alexa-enabled devices including Windows 10 PCs, Amazon Echo, Harman Kardon Invoke, Sonos One; and iOS and Android devices with the Cortana and/or Alexa apps.
Once Microsoft stopped bundling the Kinect sensor with Xbox One, and later, ceased making Kinects all together, there wasn't a way for users without a headset to use voice commands to control the Xbox console, since there are no built-in microphones in the console. Today's announcmenet is a start to remedying that situation.
Microsoft is starting to test this new skill with U.S.-based Xbox Insiders starting today. The Xbox team will roll out the skill to more testers gradually via the Insider program. There's no word yet on when the Xbox Skill will be available to mainstream users and those outside the U.S.
"This is separate from the Cortana and Alexa integration. Meaning right now you can invoke either assistant on Xbox One through the skill, but you can't at this time invoke one assistant via the other," a spokesperson told me.
A brief history of Microsoft's Surface: Missteps and successes