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Amazon’s Alexa to Add Voice Control Features to Gaming

Gamers are about to get the chance to use voice controls to play, as Amazon has confirmed that they’ll be launching a service called Alexa Game Control. It will initially be rolled out on a single game, but it’s hoped that developers use the opportunity to make their future releases more interactive.

The Increasing Importance of the Human Touch in Gaming

Perhaps this is best viewed as part of the growing trend for adding a human touch to gaming.

In the early days, most home gaming was carried out against a computer opponent, but now multiplayer games are hugely popular. This is best seen in the massively multiplayer games such as EVE Online, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars 2.

An increased human touch has reached other types of games, as we can see in the best online casinos India has. Sites like Dafabet and Betway have a selection of varied games, including a range of live dealer titles. These are based on classic casino games like roulette and blackjack, but with the added twist that a human dealer is live-streamed onto the screen.

In recent years, a stronger community feel has begun to appear in gaming. This is partly due to those multiplayer games, but we also have to consider the likes of YouTube and Twitch, where gamers can view others playing and join in with the comments functions.

Perhaps the best way to sum this up is to say that developers are more interested than ever before in finding ways to make their games fully immersive, and that includes adding more of a human touch to them. Voice control, the community aspect, human opponents, and live dealers are all different ways of achieving the same sort of thing.

What Do We Know About Amazon’s Plans So Far?

Alexa Game Control is in private beta now, with it set to be launched in North America first of all. No details have yet been given for when it should be fully rolled out to the rest of the world. As for the first game that it’s going to work on, this is Dead Island 2 by Dambuster Studios, which is due out early in 2023.

How does it work? Amazon has said that this will allow easier gaming, as it offers an accessible, hands-free way of playing. Not everyone can use Alexa in this way, as you need to have an Amazon account, although it appears not to matter if your account is of the free, basic variety or a Prime account. 

There are then two different ways of accessing Alexa Game Control. The first is to use Voice Activity, which kicks in automatically when you start talking. Alternatively, if you want to use the push-to-talk option then you need to press a button or key to get started.

While this system uses much of the same technology as the existing Alexa AI, Amazon has pointed out that you don’t need to start each command by saying its name. It’s worth noting that using it also gives you access to the existing Alexa features such as listening to music or finding out the latest weather reports.

No additional hardware is needed, as it doesn’t work with one of the Echo devices. Instead, it can be used with any type of microphone or headset that you hook up to your game console or PC, although for the moment it’s only going to be for PCs and the Xbox.     

As for the future, the Alexa Skills Kit from Amazon lets game developers build Alexa into their games, so it seems that they hope to see it go mainstream on as many games as possible from now on. This isn’t the first time that some form of voice control has been added to games.

Nintendo gave it a try on Pokémon at the end of the last century and Microsoft tried it with the Xbox 360 too. There have been some other attempts that haven’t quite worked. If done well, the Amazon Voice Control system could bring a huge change to the gaming world by making it easier to play games. This is part of an overall trend to add more of a human touch to gaming that shows no sign of slowing down.