Amazon is launching a new tool called Alexa Game Control that’s designed to let gamers use natural language voice commands so they can accomplish actions in video games. The first game to feature the technology will be the zombie-filled Dead Island 2, which was just re-revealed at Gamescom’s Opening Night Live event.
With Alexa Game Control, Amazon says you’ll be able to do things like interact with NPCs and switch weapons just by using your voice. You won’t need to use a wake word like “Alexa” or even have one of Amazon’s Echo devices, and the company says that the feature will work with “any microphone or headset connected to their PC or console.” However, you will be able to use Alexa features like controlling smart home devices and ordering food.
You’ll only be able to use Alexa Game Control while connected to the internet, but it’s optional and not required to be able to play the game offline, Amazon spokesperson Michael Poulter confirmed to The Verge. And while you won’t need an Amazon Prime membership to use Alexa Voice Control, you will have to have an Amazon account.
In Dead Island 2 specifically, which is set to launch on February 3rd, 2023, you’ll be able to use your voice to access “in-game features like navigation (by saying ‘where is the nearest workbench’)” and “manipulate zombie hordes (by saying ‘hey zombie’),” according to an Amazon blog post.
At launch, Alexa Game Control will be available in English in North America; Amazon promises it’s coming to “more countries and languages” but didn’t provide a timeline. And according to the Alexa Game Control website, the feature will only work with PC or Xbox. Poulter confirmed that’s “currently” the case, but said that “our vision is to become available everywhere games are played.” Hopefully, that means Alexa Game Control will come to platforms like PlayStation and Nintendo Switch in the future.