Microsoft launches a significant dashboard update for Xbox One today. The new October 2018 update to Xbox brings Microsoft's new miscellaneous avatars, Dolby Vision support for Netflix, and an Alexa's ability to control your console with an echo device. After more than a year of testing, the new Xbox Live avatares will start appearing across the Xbox dashboard today.
The new avatars are displayed on profiles, activity posts, friend blocks on the home screen, and other places. They are fully customizable to be as diverse as possible and there is yet another avatar store to buy extra cosmetic items for avatars. Xbox users can even keep their old avatar if they want to do it.
Microsoft's second major addition to this software update is a new Xbox skill for Cortana and Alexa. The skill will be available in the US today, allowing Xbox owners to use voice commands through an Alexa enabled device to turn on the console, adjust the volume and even start gaming. You will be able to say "Alexa, start Destiny 2" and it will automatically turn on your Xbox and start the game.
This is the next step in Microsoft and Amazon's close collaboration on digital assistants, and one that follows from the ability to connect both Cortana and Alexa together. Amazon also offers free Echo Dot to anyone who buys an Xbox One S or Xbox One X in the coming days. The new features resemble Microsoft's existing Kinect functionality, but they open the door to millions of Xbox One owners who want to buy the console before Microsoft unbound Kinect and kill it.
Microsoft is also adding Dolby Vision to Xbox One today. It is limited to the Netflix app for now, but Microsoft promises that more Dolby Vision apps will be supported in the coming months. Microsoft's consoles are now on Apple TV 4K and Google's Chromecast Ultra as the only streaming devices currently supporting both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
October Dashboard Update The Xbox One is available instantly for all Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X consoles.