Xbox One

A digital assistant is a powerful tool in the living room, and it looks like one of the more powerful tools for cord-cutters is going to get more digital assistant love.

Our cousins at Windows Central report that the Xbox One will soon have access to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, alongside Microsoft's own Cortana. The news comes via a leaked screenshot.

This picture comes to us from a reliable source who is familiar with Amazon and Microsoft's efforts to link Alexa and Cortana. In upcoming Xbox One builds, the Kinect & Devices menu should have a new "Digital Assistants" section, which lets you enable Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana, for use on your Xbox One. It then directs you to install the Xbox skills app for those respective platforms to get connected. The full range of features for those assistants remains unknown, but it could bring back many of the voice-assisted features abandoned Kinect users are yearning for.

Microsoft dropped the ball on Cortana's potential, pivoting her away from consumer capabilities and more into the productivity arena. As such, Cortana will soon be an "app" for Amazon Echo and probably other connected speakers, although she is available in a dedicated US-only speaker built by Harman/Kardon, called the Invoke. It looks like Microsoft is allowing Amazon and Google to step up to give us back some of those voice-assisted dedicated microphone features too.

That's a big deal for a number of reasons, the least of which is that Cortana is still pretty niche — useful on Windows computers, but not really anywhere else.

The addition of Alexa and Assistant would mean that you'd now have voice access to all of the end points — information, command-and-control of smart equipment, and almost certainly the ability to direct the Xbox One to do various things — that we currently enjoy from other systems like Fire TV and Android TV.

From Windows Central:

And now ... we wait.