Xbox’s July Update is adding a bunch of new features and bringing Alexa integration to six new countries.
The July update for Xbox One started rolling out on July 8th, so you should have received it by now or at the very least will be getting it imminently. In store are brand new Alexa voice commands, more Alexa support around the world, as well as a new Wishlist function for Xbox Game Pass.
We’ll start with the Wishlist since it’s a feature people have been asking about for quite a while now. In case you didn’t know, Xbox Game Pass works just like Netflix, only for games. You pay a monthly fee and can download and play whatever games are available on the service. This usually includes the latest Xbox exclusive titles (for whatever that’s worth) as well as a bunch of slightly older classics that are all very highly rated.
Games rotate in and out of Game Pass every month, so it’s important for gamers to get through their titles in an orderly fashion before a game rotates out. Game Pass’s new Play Later function allows players to make a wish list of games they want to play in the future. It works just like the Steam Wishlist function does, only you don’t have to pay for the game when you eventually have time to play it.
Next up for July are new voice commands for Alexa-enabled devices. Amazon’s Alexa voice-activated assistant can integrate with an Xbox One and perform certain commands, such as turning up the volume or starting a game. Now, Alexa devices can also find new games, popular games, and also what games your friends are playing.
Saying “Alexa, ask Xbox what’s new on Game Pass” will bring up the latest games to arrive on Game Pass. “Alexa, ask Xbox what are my friends playing” will tell you what your friends have been up to, while “Alexa, ask Xbox to pair my controller” will pair a freshly charged controller without having to do any work.
Alexa integration is super cool, but was only available in certain countries. That list has now expanded to include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Spain as of the July update.
For more, check out the official Xbox Game Pass blog update here.