Xbox One Voice Commands Won't Work In Australia At Launch

Xbox One Voice Commands Won't Work At Launch For Everyone

One of the key draws of making the new Kinect mandatory for the Xbox One is that it allows you to do stuff like turn the console on just by talking to it. For Americans, you'll be able to do that at launch, but if you're from Australia or Austria, you won't.

Some very, very small print on the Xbox One's website says the following:

Xbox voice commands will not be available in all markets on the product release date. Voice commands will be available at launch in US, UK, CA, FR, and DE.

Which suggests the rest of the primary launch markets - Australia, Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand and Spain - are outta luck.

Countering this, however, is Microsoft's Albert Penello, who clarifies slightly that, at launch, Spanish (both Spain and Mexico), Italian and Portugese (so, Brazil) will also be ready to go. With a catch: only the US, UK, Canada, France and Germany will be able to use some commands, like the "Xbox On" activiation prompt.

We've contacted Microsoft for clarification on this, and will update if we hear back.

It's a strange case of affairs. How can the console recognise so many different British accents but not Australian? Why German accents but not Austrian?

Hopefully it's something that's patched in pretty quickly after launch. It's going to be weird enough talking to my console to turn it on. Having to do it in a British accent isn't going to help.

Xbox One [Microsoft, via CVG]


    Didn't they have this problem with the original Kinect, too?

      It took 13 months for 360 Kinect to understand Australians (US: Nov. 2010, Au: Dec 2011) so don't be holding your breath if you want it any time soon.

      So no TV stuff outside US at launch, and Kinect only half works.

      I'm still waiting to hear that that XBone Dev Kit - Indie stuff is US only just like MSIG.

      This is what honestly pisses me off.

      If it was working on old kinect why the hell isn't it working now, there seriously can't be THAT many new "Phrases" especially considering how long they should have been developing the damn thing.

      The biggest reason I'm getting an XBO with its weaker GPU is because of Kinect, if all the voice stuff isn't going to work at launch(and for an indeterminate amount of time) then a great portion of that is gone and it honestly makes me wonder if i should cancel my launch plans =/ (Depending on exactly how much isn't going to be working)

      Last edited 30/08/13 7:59 pm

    Hahaha! I literally made this joke this morning on another article about this!

    Was not buying an xbox one because it has voice commands... but because it plays xbox one games.

    Failed reply, ignore!

    Last edited 30/08/13 2:57 pm

    It's because we talk a foreign language to the yanks right?

    Last edited 30/08/13 2:58 pm

      what do you mean? Have you not spoken to a bogan or country Australian? I can barely understand their accents, let alone their expressions.

      Last edited 30/08/13 3:11 pm

        Fair go.

          ow yu goen cobba?

          Last edited 30/08/13 3:18 pm

            U wot m8? u haven a giggel? I'll feckin smash yer hed in, i sware on me mum.

            Wait, wrong country.

              Sounds just as bad though

              Last edited 30/08/13 4:58 pm

              Flubbah wubbah Jubbah nooooongaarrr!

          Trent From Punchy.

          Truly one of the greatest pieces of Australian comedy of the last decade.

          Thank You sir, thank you. You took the thoughts from my mind and posted Trent from Punchy. Bravo. Bravo.

          Last edited 31/08/13 3:06 am

        It's true... stayan is one of the few languages in the world where, "Are you alright, mate?" is actually a prelude to hostilities, where ostensibly it should be a genuine enquiry into one's wellbeing.

          the other day a guy kept calling me bloke - like "how are ya bloke?" "Cheers bloke". I thought you say bloke when talking about a 3rd party?

          Last edited 30/08/13 3:36 pm

            I have had the same thing with guy. "What's up guy" it just sounds weird

          Australia: where you call your enemies "mate" and your mates "c*nt".

            Scotland's like that too. No wonder Mark fit in so well :D

            Or "b*stard". I spent half an hour at one point explaining to colleagues from India and China how in most places "b*stard" is an egregious insult, but in Australia it can be an expression of affection.

            Not always though, which made it somewhat trickier to explain.

            The extra time is probably because "XBox One" is very similar to "XBox On", and didn't want the machine to turn itself on whenever it was mentioned in casual conversation. That would be creepy.

        Speaking of which, why can't we manually turn this on if we don't talk like a dinky die country aussie? Kinect just became totally useless, I have no interest in waving my arms around in the air.

      Stralian is a very difficult langauge

        fucken comeon caarnt, it aint that fucken hard to fucken understand. ya just gota fucken no when to ad fuck, fucken and carrnt in to there fucken right spot eh carrnt

        ah stone the fucken crows that bogan speak

    Surely they could at least port over something temporary from the original kinect? Are the voice commands on Xbone really that different?

    I mean I won't be grabbing a launch Xbone, and I don't really care that much about voice commands, but I can't get my head around why the Xbone's voice commands would be so different from the 360 o.0

    Right there in the clarification from Albert: English – GB (WW)

    WW stands for World Wide - i.e. Us.

    Bah Humbug - The updated voice commands was a way to show it off in front of the family and friends. I'll just have to use the facial recognition when tyou pass the controller around to show off how cool it is - hopefully it can recognise my bogan face.

      Probably not. It's calibrated for US so it won't recognise you if you're under 160kg.

        ... and if you're under 160kg it automatically orders you pizza, lots of pizza.

        You may be interested to know that Australia has been managing to keep its position of fifth most obese nation with 24.6% of the nation being obese. That's only around 7% behind America's 31.8%. So there's a pretty good chance it will.

        Last edited 30/08/13 7:13 pm

          Look at it this way: we only have just over 75% of the fat people per 100 people that the US does. Alternatively, there are about 5 times as many FAT people in the US as we have people in Australia.

    I (luckily, imo) have a pretty weak Australian accent, so hopefully I can get away with the US language settings!

      same. ever spoken to a bogan or country Australian? I can barely understand their accents, let alone their expressions.

      Last edited 30/08/13 3:12 pm

        I know what you mean. Have you ever spoken to a bogan or country Australian? I can barely understand their accents, let alone their expressions.

    Coincidentally, my wallet won't be working around the XBONE launch.

    I'm just going to put on my US accent and set the language to English (US). It's a good time to practice my US accent too.

    This shit again? :( I'd have thought they already had everything ready to go from the interminable wait for it to start working with the first Kinect.

    gees, talk about letting the PS4 win by default.

    A little off topic, but, I hated it when I lived in America and had to use any phone service that required you to speak to it. I would have to say things in a harsh American accent in order to be recognized.

    No skin off my nose. Now that MS has decided that the Kinect doesn't have to be plugged in to the Xbox One for it to work, I have no use for this piece of shit technology anyhow! After the cardboard box, the Kinect will be the next thing I throw in the bin on Day One.

    The United States ignoring the world as they always do. Unless they want to bomb them that is.

    I think Microsoft saying that it won't work is them covering their ass. I mean if they advertised that it could work and ended up not working, people would be all over the ACCC like a bogan to a bonfire. Its safer from a business perspective to disable the feature to get it 100% correct then to launch with a maybe.

    Australians do have a variety of accents and pronounciations depending on region and background.

    How can one of the largest computer software companies in the world have so much trouble coming up with decent voice recognition..? I just don't get it.. there are indie projects with better voice recognition than this multi-billion dollar giant.

    Missing advertised feature at launch? No problem, I'll give you less money than the advertised price, then make up the difference when said feature is released. Minus a late fee of course.

    Come on Microsoft. Is it really so hard to translate English to English?

    It doesn't actually say it doesn't understand Australian. It says voice commands will only be available in certain countries like US and UK which means an Aussie in the US or UK should be able to use it but a Yank in Australia is sheer out of luck.

    From the clarification they linked to (I've emphasised the important bits):
    "Turns out the answer to this question is… complicated. It’s been an education for me as I’ve been looking into it.

    There is no way that I could do justice to it in a post, so the marketing team is working on a chart that gives clarity on what locales, languages, and voice features are available in each country/b>. Trying to write it down would be confusing. Stay tuned for a more detailed explanation, but just to give clarity:

    In November
    - We will launch in 13 geos
    - 10 of those geos will support some voice features
    - We support 8 languages
    NOW – the nuance to this is that some voice *features* won’t be available in all countries right away. “Xbox On”, for instance, is only available in 5 (hence the confusion on in the small print)."

    So 10 of the 13 launch regions will have voice recognition at launch, but only 5 of those will support all commands, like "Xbox On". Support for those commands for the other 5 will be added later. We don't yet know if Australia is one of those partially supported 5. MS will be going into detail about it all very soon.

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