Google Assistant can now control Xbox consoles in new voice integration between tech giants

(Microsoft Photo)

The Google Assistant is coming to Xbox, the latest example of Microsoft adding more voice control to its flagship gaming console outside of its digital assistant Cortana.

Microsoft is kicking off a beta test of the program today for all customers in English, which allows users to ask the Google Assistant to turn Xbox devices on and off, queue up games, pause play and call up YouTube.

An Xbox-Google Assistant tie-in has been rumored for more than a year. In the meantime, Microsoft has integrated its own digital assistant Cortana as well as Amazon’s Alexa.

The integration between Microsoft and Google is interesting as the two companies are set to compete in the nascent game streaming market. Microsoft said earlier this week it plans to start trials for its Project xCloud game streaming service, which lets users play Xbox games on their smartphones, in October. Google’s Stadia, a similar cloud-powered, console-free gaming service, is set to debut in November.

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