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Xbox Alexa app brings new skills to your console — what you can do now

xbox alexa app
(Image credit: Future)

Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa can now help you interact with your Xbox Series X or Series S. Download Alexa for Xbox app, and you can put down the controller — well, between games at least. But the Xbox Alexa app should be able to help if you plan on watching TV or lending an extra hand for your gaming needs.

Like most Alexa-centric apps, Alexa for Xbox relies on voice commands to complete a variety of different actions. You can download the app on your system of choice for free, then connect it to a compatible Alexa device to sync that device with your gaming console. The result? A suite of commands for Alexa to make your Xbox experience a lot smoother. Alexa can even turn your system on and off for you if you choose with a quick “Alexa, turn on/off Xbox.” 

Many of the Alexa app's functions relate to launching certain software or controlling it when open.  For example, once your Xbox is on, Alexa can launch games for you ("Alexa, launch Fortnite on Xbox") or check services like Xbox Game Pass to scan for new titles. While gaming, you can ask Alexa to record moments, check to see if your friends are online, and, switch over to an entertainment app like Netflix once you're done gaming.

If only the Xbox Alexa app could tell you where to find the Xbox Series X in stock.

xbox alexa app

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Alexa for Xbox isn't relegated to assisting with gaming-centric functions, though — it isn't even constrained to your Xbox. You can use it on your smart TV as well, which lets you play music, check your smart home cameras, view email, and more while watching TV or gaming.

For instance, you can have Alexa for Xbox show you who's at the door if you’ve got an Alexa-compatible video doorbell ("Alexa, show me the front door camera") or bring up the weather forecast before you head outside for the day ("Alexa, show me the weather"). You can also ask to see your calendar, email, or even play certain artists via the musical app of your choice through your console. 

Of course, Alexa support has been available for Xbox systems for some time. Before, however, it wasn't possible for cross-functionality between Alexa devices  and your Xbox. Now, both can work together, essentially sharing a platform. The Xbox Alexa app will be available for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles.

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.