Report: Kinect Will Only Understand Americans, Brits, Japanese & Mexicans

Illustration for article titled Report: Kinect Will Only Understand Americans, Brits, Japanese  Mexicans

Oh dear. It's not just Spaniards who won't be able to control Kinect with their voices when the peripheral launches. It's everyone who doesn't live in the US, Mexico or United Kingdom.

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Eurogamer has confirmed with Microsoft that when Kinect is released in November, no languages from mainland Europe will be supported. So if you're in France, or Italy, or Germany, or Switzerland, or the Netherlands, or Poland, or the Czech Republic, or...well, you get the idea. Live in any of those places and you won't be able to get around your Xbox 360 using the power of the human voice.

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The kicker is that even if you live in those places and speak fluent English, it still won't work, as your Kinect will be locked to the same region as your Xbox 360.

It's not just Europe being left out, either. The only languages (or, in two cases, accents) Kinect will support in November will be English (USA), English (UK), Japanese and Mexican Spanish. Everyone else, even Canadians and presumably Aussies and Kiwis as well, will have to wait until an update in Spring 2011 (or, for Antipodeans, Autumn 2011).

I don't quite understand this. How can Kinect be programmed to recognise accents from New York to Alabama, Sussex to Scotland, and somehow not understand Canadians in between?

As someone who was really only looking forward to Kinect for the voice recognition stuff, and also someone who does not live in the US, UK, Mexico or Japan, consider me slightly disappointed.

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No Euro Kinect voice rec until spring [Eurogamer]

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DISCUSSION

bard-of-awen-old
Bard of Awen

I strongly suspect that the Kinect will not "recognize accents from New York to Alabama." I'm going to guess that there is one US dialect, based on Midwestern English (which is essentially the accent used for film and television). I'm further going to guess that UK English is going to be based on East Midlands English. There will probably be enough leeway for it to understand most American and English dialects, but anyone with an extreme dialect is likely to have difficulty.

But that said, I would wager that it will understand Canadians just fine. I also suspect it will understand Australians. If it doesn't, then it's going to be a frustrating experience for a lot of American and British gamers, because that would indicate to me that the margin of error is far too narrow.