Kinect launched in Australia yesterday and, despite the fact that this delay had been announced previously, there was a certain twinge of disappointment in the fact that Kinect didn’t arrive with the same voice control functionality that consumers in the US and the UK received. We wanted to find out why – so we got in contact with Microsoft and asked.
“We want to give Aussies the premium experience for Kinect,” claims Adam Pollington, Xbox Category Manager. “We could have launched with something substandard, but we wanted to deliver the best possible service.
“Some methods of communication are straight forward, like hand gestures are the same, but voices are obviously different with accents and slang, not just across different countries, but within those countries. To implement more advanced controls we have to master all of these accents.”
Apparently Microsoft is currently working through Beta testing, recording and uploading hundreds of Australian accents across the country to ensure that the best possible spectrum is implemented into Kinect’s voice control system. But this begs the question: why wasn’t all of this done before hand? Why do it now, during the Kinect’s actual launch in Australia?
“It’s more about the time it takes to work it all in,” explains Adam. “It’s just a massive task to implement it all and, as we said before, we want to give Aussies the best premium service.”
So when can we expect to see the service in Australia?
“We’ve been told early next year, so I would guess that means roughly a late February/early March Launch.”
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