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Microsoft plans to launch the Xbox One console in 13 countries this year, but only players in five of these nations will get to use the device’s Kinect voice commands, which enable players to control many of Xbox One’s functions just by speaking.
The company recently published a “Get The Facts” post on Xbox.com that goes over the many features of the next-gen hardware. Whenever it mentions the new Kinect’s voice features that control the box, however, it refers to a clause in the fine print that reveals that functionality won’t work in more than half of the nations it will launch in this November (via NeoGAF).
Xbox One’s voice commands will only work in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Germany.
Microsoft plans to launch the Xbox One this year in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, and New Zealand.
What’s weird is that Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand are all largely monolingual nations that primarily speak English, and Australia, for example, doesn’t have any official-language laws that would prohibit Microsoft from releasing a console that doesn’t understand the Australian Aboriginal languages. Austria, like Germany, is a German-speaking country.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft for an explanation and will update this post with any new information.
Xbox One is due out in November, but Microsoft has not set a firm release date. It will retail for $500 and comes with the Kinect 3D camera that listens for the audio commands. Using those speaking features, gamers can turn on their consoles or quickly switch between games, apps, and television.