We knew that the Kinect voice command functionality of Xbox One was going to be region locked. We received Xbox One yesterday and in context of Kinect voice commands, it has certainly fared better than we expected.
Albert Penello, Microsoft’s Director of Product Planning was asked whether it was possible to set Xbox One UI and Voice to English even if it was bought from the German marketplace. His reply was:
“Voice is locked to the region. So no, unfortunately.”
Now while he also said that you can use voice commands in English, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese and French only, it was expected that you also have to be fluent in the accent in order for the device to understand what you are ordering it to do.
We are based in Pakistan and national language Urdu’ is as far from English as it could be and our local language Punjabi’ is pretty blunt in delivery so as you can imagine, we were concerned how our accents will affect the voice commands.
Our testing squad was all over Kinect as soon as the Xbox One was unboxed. Our findings were gladly positive. Although we cannot guarantee a hundred percent accurate response, but even with a not-so-English accent of ours, we were able to easily make the console do our bidding.
Xbox One Kinect voice commands were much smarter than we expected and impressively flexible in understanding what we were saying. Yet there are certain aspects that you will have to consider; the background noise matters a lot and you have to be clear enough in the delivery of your words – neither too fast, nor too slow.
The worst we saw was when one of our team members asked Kinect to Bing for Call of Duty 4 and somehow the console showed us results for the word “anal.” It was embarrassing.
Anyhow, we are pretty much positive that the region locking of voice command won’t be as much of an issue as expected if you know decent enough English.
Don’t forget to share your experience with us by commenting below!
Sarmad is one of the more refined and cultured among us. His favorite game is Mario, and he once had dreams of going to plumbing school. Now he's 24, a finance major and having the time of his life writing about videogames.