NetGuide NZ - Microsoft: NZ Kinect voice control coming next year

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Microsoft: NZ Kinect voice control coming next year

Kinect finally launches in New Zealand tomorrow, and one glaring omission from its features set that is currently available to American users is the "voice control" functionality. Essentially, using advanced voice-recognition technology, Kinect is capable of understanding voice commands that enable the user to drive much of the Xbox 360 interface by simply speaking. For example, while watching a video, the user can utter the words "Xbox, pause" in order to pause their movie.

A representative for Microsoft has confirmed to Game Console that, while this functionality won't be available in New Zealand upon launch, we can expect an update in the US 'spring' (which begins around March next year) - either via Xbox LIVE or bundled with upcoming Kinect titles - that will add voice control.

"Because of the complexity of solving for languages and accents voice support will roll out across the world in waves," said a spokesperson for Microsoft. "In ‘spring’ 2011, Kinect voice support will be available in Canada (French), France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia and New Zealand."

Although it's yet to hit shelves in New Zealand, Kinect has reportedly been selling like hotcakes overseas where it's been on sale for the better part of two weeks.

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