Microsoft Explains Xbox One Voice Command Delay

Microsoft is clarifying a recent report that the Xbox One’s Kinect-enabled voice commands will only be available in five markets at launch.

Gamespot reported that, of the 13 regions where Xbox One will be available at launch, only the US, UK, Canada, France, and Germany would support voice commands. The next-gen console was originally expected to launch in 21 territories in November, but Microsoft announced earlier this month that the system would be delayed in eight regions. Customers in the affected regions who pre-ordered a Day One edition of the Xbox One would receive a free pack-in game.

Microsoft issued a statement explaining that voice control will be available in 10 of the 13 launch markets, but that “Xbox On” voice commands would only be available in the aforementioned five regions. The “Xbox One” voice commands will become available for the other eight regions in “the near future,” according to the statement.

“At Xbox One launch, we will offer voice control in 10 of our 13 launch markets, with eight total languages: English US, English UK, French, Spanish MX, Spanish ES, Italian, German, and Portuguese,” the company said.

“There are many complexities associated with delivering a great voice experience around the world, and we’re working hard to add more voice features and more countries; we’ll share more details in the future,” Microsoft added.

Microsoft was reportedly planning to launch the Xbox on November 8, getting the jump on Sony’s PlayStation 4, which is scheduled for a November 15 release. However, according to IGN, section 12 of Mountain Dew/Doritos’ “Ever 2 Minutes” Xbox One contest says the console’s targeted launch date is late November 2013.

The contest is being held in partnership with Microsoft, but that doesn’t mean that the late November release is confirmed. Microsoft announced at E3 that the system would launch in November, but a specific date has yet to be drilled down.