No mainland European Kinect voice recognition till spring 2011

Wednesday, 1st September 2010 10:52 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Microsoft has confirmed that Kinect voice recognition won’t be switched on for mainland Europe until spring 2011.

The company confirmed to Eurogamer this morning that the voice recognition software will only recognise American and British English, Japanese and Mexican Spanish at launch this November, as per overnight rumours.

Canadians will have to wait until spring 2011 to be able to control the system via voice.

European gamers won’t be allowed to activate Kinect voice recognition due to the region-locked status of their Xbox 360s, even if they are either fluent in English or can speak Latin American Spanish.

Jode bromear

Two reports surfaced in the past 24 hours hinting at the move, claiming Microsoft had confirmed Kinect will support three languages at launch: English, Japanese and Mexican Spanish.

According to this Elpais story (via Kotaku), Microsoft told press in Bilbao, Spain last week that the launch version of Kinect’s software will only have the capability to understand “Mexican” Spanish.

This was backed by an Xboxygen story which carried an image supposedly grabbed from the ongoing Kinect beta: it said Kinect will have the choice of British, Canadian and American English; Japanese; and Mexican Spanish.

These reports came after an MCV story claimed Kinect would have no voice control at launch. Microsoft made an official statement on the matter to say the news wasn’t true, but refused to confirm at the time which languages would be supported when the camera goes live worldwide in November.


Mexican Spanish is not spoken in Spain, and vice versa. The Spanish and Portuguese spoken in Latin America is a far evolved version of the “polite” Spanish and Portuguese spoken in Europe, in much the same way Canadian French differs from European French.

Microsoft said today that Kinect will be launching in Australia on November 18. You’d better hope they have an “Aussie” option on the dash down there, mate.

Kinect launches in the US on November 4, to be followed in Europe on November 10.



  1. 52pickup

    Obviously the biggest news story here is that it features no support for the Welsh language this thing will tank without it :P

    I am disappoint!

    What about French? German? Italian? Greek?

    Not being able to read native language in several EU countries will disappoint many potential consumers who wanted to use the vocal commands who only speak native tongue.

    Me? I will just shout “Oi,play me a game”.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Gekidami

    Wait, so this means that the voice controls for Kinect wont be usable by nearly all of Europe?

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    @1 – “Xbox ble mae bloody gamio, innit?” If they made it understand Welsh I think I could actually die content.

    @2 – It would seem that way, yep.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    @2 All Europe know English very well.

    I don’t see a problem here at all. Basics are here.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Gekidami

    No, all of Europe dont know English enought to use Kinect. What a stupid thing to say.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    @5 You of course know how much people will buy that thing who don’t know or know english.
    In my European country (that is not english centric) knows that language very well. 90% of the people.

    English is the international language, so go figure.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. justiceblob

    @4 That is the most ridiculous comment I’ve seen on this site for a while. It’s quite clear that SOME of Europe speak English fluently, but suggesting that those unfortunate enough to be living in the very poorest areas of say, Romania, have strong enough lanuguage skills to use any of the various English settings for Kinect is wholly comical.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Syrok

    Not to mention children. :)

    Anyway, it’s not like you need to talk to it to be able to use it in most cases.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    I’m British and I live in France. I do live in a rural area, but there’s no way on God’s earth people round here know enough English to use something like Kinect. People speak French in France. It’s the same in Germany. Most young people can speak a reasonable level of English, but they speak German. Asking them to use a piece of hardware like this in another language can only be a temporary measure; they will have to add French, German and European Spanish support.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. justiceblob

    @8 Exactly, all in all, I probably wont be bothering with Voice Control after trying in once. I’d say gesture control is easily the biggest draw of Kinect.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. DrDamn

    The clever stuff Kinect is doing is the body tracking. That is proper tricky and impressive new tech. I would have thought voice control was fairly well established tech though. Presumably it just has a subset of commands it needs to understand too? Or does it do something more extensive?

    #11 4 years ago
  12. KaRmAChAnG

    @1 The Welsh!? Haha! Brilliant!

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Crysis

    woo, australia was mentioned :D but no news on whether or not it’ll support voice recognition here, i don’t see why not, our de facto language is (British) English.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. NinjaMidget

    I have a funny feeling its not just the welsh, but the scots, us irish and people from liverpool who won’t be able to use kinect’s voice feature, aww shame!

    #14 4 years ago
  15. LePlatypus

    @6 Everyone in Austria knows English? (reference to my previous replies to you)

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Gekidami

    Wow, so even if you do know English perfectly (or even Mexican Spanish dosnt scare you if you happen to know standard Spanish), if you arent living in the country, no voice recognition for you. The amount of fail here is just epic, more rushing stuff from MS.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. LePlatypus

    The voice recognition of Kinect is very good even if you put on an accent. I tried doing so :P

    #17 4 years ago
  18. DrDamn

    I guess it’s an experience thing. If they don’t think people will get a good enough experience from it then it’s better to disable than give a bad experience. From what LePlatypus says you’d expect it to be ok with English and a French/German/Spanish/etc. accent though. So maybe a little overzealous.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. NiceFellow

    This isn’t really a surprise, and will no doubt be played down by MS.

    In the end they had the choice of delaying release until they had it fully ready for all regions in terms of language support or rely on the old staple of US centric companies with something new, focus on English first and play catch up.

    With Move releasing and having no such issues due to it’s (currently) different approach it’s not really a surprise MS didn’t want to allow Move a holiday period and a fair few months all to itself before launching.

    They want Kinect on shelves next to Move in December, not a spring 2011 launch.

    Saying that though, it still of course sucks somewhat for non-English speakers – although it should be noted this is a fairly minor element of Kinect capability and hardly one that should be a deal breaker.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Quiiick

    @ Patrick Garratt
    Since when do you live in France?
    I thought you were managing this site from the UK.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. LePlatypus

    Kinects aren’t region locked the software is just make a US/UK/whatever account and it’ll work fine

    #21 4 years ago
  22. theevilaires

    And the Euros get shafted again :D I don’t know who has screwed you guys over more SONY or M$ :D

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Michael O’Connor

    Gotta wonder what this means for Ireland, as English is our main language anyway. Wanna find out for me Pat? =P

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Crysis

    what do you mean by Sony & MS screwing over Europe? we Aussies pay up to & over $100 US dollars (up to $120 Aussie dollars) for a standard game, when you brits & americans pay only $60 US Dollars, then again, New Zealenders get screwed even further…

    #24 4 years ago
  25. stretch215

    @24 why are the prices so high, that’s ridiculous!

    #25 4 years ago
  26. NoxNoctisUmbra

    @24 how much average person earns a week month year? Maybe thats why?

    #26 4 years ago
  27. robmlufc

    It might understand English, but it might struggle with accents. Even in england regional accents can be quite tricky to understand.

    #27 4 years ago

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