Microsoft has released the Xbox One October update with additions to the system, including new Xbox Avatars and Xbox Skill features for interacting with Alexa and Cortana.
Detailed last month during the Inside Xbox live stream, the new Avatars for Xbox One offer more customization than the original Avatars. They were designed to be more inclusive, expressive, and creative for users to help represent the Xbox community.
The Avatar Editor features nearly unlimited skin color options, a wide range of body types, and in-depth facial details.
A new Avatar Store will offer outfits, props, and accessories that let you customize colors, and will be updated every month with new additions. Licensed items from popular brands such as Halo and Gears of War will also be available.
With the new update, a separate Xbox Original Avatars app will be available for those wanting to keep their original Avatars or switch back and forth at various times.
The Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa also released with the October update in the U.S., which allows people to navigate with voice controls through their Xbox One while using Cortana or Alexa-enabled devices, expanding beyond the previous capabilities with Kinect.
Users can use voice commands to power on and off their console, launch games, start and strop broadcasts on Mixer, take screenshots and more.
The Xbox Skill will be in the Alexa Store or the Cortana Skill Store and users need to just say, “Alexa, open Xbox” or “Hey Cortana, Open Xbox” to get the feature set up. A release date for areas outside of the U.S. has yet to be announced.
Cortana had previously worked internally on both Xbox One and PC, but the new Xbox One update marks the first time another company has been able to integrate the features of Cortana in this specific way.
Jessie Wade is a news writer for IGN and her Xbox avatar has had a snowboard since 2008. Add her on Xbox at AgentRomanova and follow her on Twitter @jessieannwade.