Xbox One Update Brings Back Avatars, Adds Alexa Control

Xbox October Update
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Throughout the year, Microsoft has been working hard to update and overhaul the Xbox Avatars. The all new creation suite has finally rolled out as part of the Xbox October update, but the Avatars didn't arrive alone, they also came packed in with brand new Alexa control features.

Over on the Xbox News headquarters there's a complete roll out of the details and changelog of the October 2018 update for the Xbox One family of systems. This includes the all new overhauled Xbox Avatars.

The new Avatars allow you to change the appearance of the characters, their clothing, and their moods. You can acquire additional clothes for your character or deck them out as you see fit, this includes licensed clothing options from games such as Gears of War and Microsoft's flagship IP, Halo. Once you get done customizing the character, you can then take a photo of the character using the custom photo booth option. If you don't like the way the new Avatars look, you can still stick with your old Xbox Live Avatar by importing them using the option in the customization menu.

When the new update is completed, you can either create a new Avatar using the new app tools, or your can stick with your old one by selecting it from the menu.

Beyond the Avatars, there's also the all new Cortana and Alexa skill update, which enables gamers to make use of the voice-enabled AI assistants through any Cortana or Alexa-enabled smart device. This means that you can turn on or turn off the Xbox through your Alexa device, start or stop apps through Alexa, or make other changes through the voice-enabled app.

To setup the Alexa skill, open up the Xbox account linking option and enable it so that you can attach it to Alexa. You can acquire the skill a number of different ways, including searching for the skill through the store, or by telling Alexa or Cortana to activate the skill through a Windows 10 PC or a smartphone with Cortana installed.

As explained in the post, you can use Alexa to start games such as Forza Horizon 4, and even start parties using voice commands. You can start up any number of Xbox-enabled apps as well.

They don't mention it in the update, but I imagine this does the same thing that the Kinect 2.0 did when it used to be paired with the Xbox One when it was one of the premium devices for the console.

This comes short on the heels of Ubisoft also teaming up with Amazon for Alexa support in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. I imagine we may see more games and game devices take advantage of this in the future. Technically, Microsoft did beat them all to the punch with Kinect, but poor support and inconsistent functionality doomed it to an early fate in the electronics cemetery.

Last, but not least, in the Xbox October update is the ability to enable Dolby Vision for 4K-enabled television and display units. If your TV supports 4K output and is hooked up to your Xbox One, you can now enable Dolby Vision from the display and sound menus through the Xbox settings.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.