The Xbox One October update is rolling out today, offering a few new bells and whistles for the Microsoft console. The features in this update allow you to use more voice interactions, more easily watch HDR movies with streaming services, and personalize your Avatar.
The Xbox Skill feature lets you interact with your Xbox using Alexa or Cortana devices, with a greater degree of precision than the previous Kinect voice commands. As an example, Microsoft says you can tell Alexa to “launch Forza Horizon 4” and in response the Xbox One will start up, sign you in, and launch the game, all without additional commands needed. Other commands include starting Mixer broadcasts, capturing screenshots, and adjusting the volume. You’ll need to download the Xbox Skill in the respective stores to get started.
To promote the new functionality, Amazon will be offering a bundle that includes an Amazon Echo Dot with new Xbox One S or Xbox One X purchases. That deal is coming soon, but supplies will be limited.
The newly revised Avatars are available for all users today as well. These have a focus on inclusiveness, with a greater range of body types, more accessories, and the ability to dress in any kind of clothing you’d like. You’ll see the new Avatars on your own profile, in the activity feed and Gamerscore leaderboard, and more. You can use a Photobooth to take a picture of your Avatar to use as your profile image. Plus, if you want to stick with your original Avatar, that option is available too.
The update also adds Dolby Vision HDR streaming across supported televisions. For now it supports Netflix only, but Dolby Vision will expand to more apps in the coming months. You can enable it through the Settings menu. Finally the Narrator has added Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, Dutch, and Australian English.