Xbox One voice commands limited to just five countries at launch

By on August 30, 2013, 10:30 AM
microsoft, xbox, kinect, gaming console, xbox one, voice control

One of the more compelling features of the upcoming Xbox One is its ability to understand voice commands. For example, the console should understand basic terminology such as “Xbox On”, which would subsequently power up the device. Unfortunately, according to the official Xbox site, voice-compatibility will be limited to just five countries at launch. The lucky recipients are the US, UK, Canada, France and Germany.

Albert Penello, Microsoft’s Director of Product Planning, went into a few more details about the restriction, explaining that eight different languages will be initially supported: UK English, US English, French, Spanish (MX), Spanish (ES), Italian, German and Japanese. After turning on the Xbox One, users will first be asked to select a language, and then asked to verify their country of residence. Although exact details are slim at the moment, Microsoft says that they will post a more thorough explanation to their website in the near future.

Interestingly, this announcement comes less than a month after Microsoft decided to whittle down the number of launch-supported countries from 21 to just 13. Instead of the consoles being available to all markets by November 2013, players residing in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands must wait until sometime in 2014 to get their hands on the device.

Despite reports saying that these delays are the result of production issues, specifically regarding the console’s lens and optical drive, Microsoft claims that these rumors simply aren’t true. Microsoft has attributed the delay to problems with localizing the Kinect voice-control features. 

Regardless of the real reason behind the holdup, individuals living in non-supported countries can still import the Xbox One from places like the US. Microsoft has reassured customers that as a region-free console, all users will be given basic functionality, regardless of their location.




User Comments: 7

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Puiu Puiu said:

Why Japanese? they aren't even launching there anytime soon.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Why Japanese? they aren't even launching there anytime soon.

Most likely, they went with I guess big gaming areas. Though I find this funny to be honest, that's a little more limited than I was expecting.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Why would you wanna talk to a machine? It's not as though it'll answer you. Mind you, I'd rather talk to machines than some people.

Guest said:

Meh ... next.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

First the WiiU with no games and now this, why is never everything ready for launch? lol

1 person liked this | Lurker101 said:

When did console releases become such a cluster ****? What happened to the good old days of "Here is our new console and here's a selection of the fun new games you can play on it"? The Super Nintendo didn't jump up and down waving its' arms in the air screaming "I can talk to your friends and I have a VCR slot for when you're not playing games" because it didn't need to.

1 person liked this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

When did console releases become such a cluster ****? What happened to the good old days of "Here is our new console and here's a selection of the fun new games you can play on it"? The Super Nintendo didn't jump up and down waving its' arms in the air screaming "I can talk to your friends and I have a VCR slot for when you're not playing games" because it didn't need to.

Yeah a bit crazy. They have to go into detailed explanations about how they are going to roll features out, license restrictions, you have to stand on one leg and touch your nose to sign into a console that has DRM discs??? Seems like a fight to see who can come up with the most complicated processes for a locked in device.

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