Recently, Amazon announced that its second-generation Fire TV Cube will support Zoom calling (via TechHive). This decision made me think of Microsoft’s Xbox consoles and their evolution in terms of communication.
Back in the days of the Xbox One, you could make a Skype call using your Kinect as a webcam. The setup would even follow you around the room using smart features and zooming. In 2021, words like Skype and Kinect seem archaic when it comes to communication.
With Skype pretty much ditched on the Xbox platform, the Kinect in the Grave (at least for games), and Mixer Dead, it’s easy to forget that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S even support webcams. You can however use a webcam with the new consoles. I think it’s time Microsoft took advantage of this fact by bringing Microsoft Teams to Xbox consoles.
Not just for work and school, right?
Microsoft Teams isn’t just about work and education. When Microsoft added the Teams-powered Chat app to Windows 11, it sent a message that it wanted the service to be used daily with friends and family. If that’s really the case, Microsoft should make Teams available on more of its devices.
Imagine a Microsoft-centric world where a college student jumps onto their Xbox Series S to talk with their parents on the Teams chat app on Windows 11. Do I think that’s likely? No. But if Microsoft is trying to convince people that Teams is a viable app for casual communication, it can’t assume that people will avoid it.
Obviously, Teams wouldn’t replace Xbox Party Chat or any other gaming-centric feature. That’s not what it’s intended for, even if it does make its way to consoles someday. It would be for people who want to put a group call or meeting on a bigger screen. Amazon and Zoom certainly seem to think people want to make video calls in the living room.
Microsoft already has the Technology
Although webcam support is not often highlighted by Microsoft, you can use a webcam with an Xbox Series X or S. You can also use them with the Xbox One and One S. We even have a guide on how to use any USB webcam with Skype for Xbox One. I’m sure Microsoft could use the technology they already have to bring a version of Teams to consoles.
The full version of Teams probably doesn’t make sense on a console. While Xbox Series X and S keyboards support it, I don’t think they’re designed for messaging in Teams. Instead, Microsoft could have an experience like the Chat app on Windows 11 which is powered by Teams but tailored to its environment.
Would you like use he?
While I would love to see Teams make their way to the Xbox family of consoles, I could be off base. Would you actually use a Teams app on your Xbox? Let us know in the comments below.
If enough people are using Teams on their consoles, a webcam could become one of the best Xbox Series X accessories.