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Xbox One voice commands only work in five markets at launch

Xbox One voice commands only work in five markets at launch

The Xbox One's feature set has been gradually shifting since its announcement at E3, with most of the more controversial features now dropped.

The Xbox One's bundled Kinect will only be able to respond to voice commands in five markets at the console's launch.

Barking orders at your new Microsoft console will only work if you are a resident of the UK, the US, Canada, France or Germany. All other territories will not have access to this functionality.

The rest of the Kinect's features will be unaffected by this omission.

This information was issued in the small print at the very bottom of an Xbox One overview piece on Xbox.com.

When or indeed if Microsoft intends to bring voice commands to other markets is at present unclear.

The Xbox One is heading for a November launch across 13 markets. Outside of the five receiving voice command functionality, it will also be launched in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain and New Zealand.

The initial announcement at E3 originally pegged the launch for 21 markets with Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland also targeted. Now however the new console is launching in these regions in 2014.

The dropping of these was attributed by Microsoft to Kinect localisation issues, an excuse that now appears puzzling in light of the limited accessibility of voice commands across other launch markets.

The nature of the Xbox One has been steadily changing since its announcement at E3 earlier this year. Microsoft dropped its controversial game registering feature that would have cut out the entire used game market for the console and also recently announced that the new Kinect bundled with the machine would not need to be constantly active for the Xbox One to operate.

13 Comments

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RichCreedy 30th August 2013, 09:40 Quote
perfectly understandable, it takes years to develop voice recognition, even then it isn't perfect at the moment, my car has it for when making calls and writing texts, some of the stuff it reads back are comical, and I've been told I am well spoken.
mi1ez 30th August 2013, 10:09 Quote
I find it strange that they go for UK, USA, and Canada, but not Australia/NZ/South Africa etc. Surely it takes much less tweaking!
rollo 30th August 2013, 11:04 Quote
This product just screams rushed out of the door, its like they were not expecting a ps4 launch and have now had to rush develop a console to counter it.

Considering they are only launching it in a few countries voice support should be guarenteed for the launch group.
Almightyrastus 30th August 2013, 12:05 Quote
I'm surprised they go for the UK, the regional accents have got to be a nightmare...
faugusztin 30th August 2013, 12:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
perfectly understandable, it takes years to develop voice recognition, even then it isn't perfect at the moment, my car has it for when making calls and writing texts, some of the stuff it reads back are comical, and I've been told I am well spoken.

Bing or Google voice search can understand even my accent, so i wonder why to restrict it to regions instead of languages... I guess MS fears this happening :D :

sAz_UvnUeuU
lacuna 30th August 2013, 12:19 Quote
As if anybody is going to faff around with voice commands anyway, its just a gimmick
Maki role 30th August 2013, 12:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lacuna
As if anybody is going to faff around with voice commands anyway, its just a gimmick

Actually, I've often found that if it's suitably accurate, it can be a nice feature. The issue is that it takes a while to get used to using it. I enabled it on my old mac and wrote whole a load of commands that I could use in photoshop etc. I found that after a couple of weeks (partly me getting used to the machine, and it getting used to me) it just seemed natural to switch tools by saying "Brush" or "Fill" etc. That might sound really trivial, but when using a wacom, I found not having to use a keyboard for many shortcuts nor having to drag the cursor around (it's an A3 tablet) was really useful.

As for using commands for a console. It's just a handy little thing so you don't constantly need a controller/remote nearby. I can never find the damn things or I can never put them in a practical place when I'm lying down on the sofa watching a movie. As for use withing games, yeah I sort of agree that it's a gimmick currently, certainly doesn't add to my experience anyway. Unless it's used for say "Mute xxPwNaGe223xx" which would be good and useful, rather than having to go through menus or hope the developer was sensible and directly assigned a button to it. Being able to do that during a game would be much simpler than faffing around with any menu, even with a direct button.
PingCrosby 31st August 2013, 14:17 Quote
wonder how it will cope with an irate scouser
Almightyrastus 31st August 2013, 14:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PingCrosby
wonder how it will cope with an irate scouser

Probably about as well as any of us can...
chemo 31st August 2013, 15:53 Quote
Theyre probably playing it super safe.

Lets hope it wasnt designed by the same people behind Siri or the Scots will be having a hard time!
Blademrk 2nd September 2013, 13:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PingCrosby
wonder how it will cope with an irate scouser

Well the first Kinect couldn't cope with a calm Welshman with only a slight welsh accent (me... actually, my accent changes depending on who I've been talking to so there was probably no hope of it working properly for me anyway), So I'm holding little hope that the 2nd will be any better.
will_123 2nd September 2013, 19:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lacuna
As if anybody is going to faff around with voice commands anyway, its just a gimmick

So true.
TheMadDutchDude 2nd September 2013, 20:43 Quote
It is very much a gimmick, completely agreed on that behalf.

How many of us can honestly hold up our hands and say "I will use these features on a regular basis"?

I find it stupid to be honest. Just like the commands you can say to a Samsung 8 series SMART TV. What in all honesty is the point...? I have a remote for that. LOL.:)
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