Microsoft has already delayed the launch of the Xbox One in numerous markets over localization and language support issues, but today it’s been revealed that the console’s voice commands will only be available in five markets at launch.
As spotted by Videogamer, the small print at the bottom of Microsoft’s ‘Get the Facts’ page on the Xbox website reads: “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.”
Therefore, of the 13 markets where the Xbox One will be available this November, players in the following countries will presumably not be able to access this functionality: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain and New Zealand.
Microsoft has re-emphasized that it won’t sell the Xbox One without the new Kinect, which tracks body movement and voice commands to control both the dashboard and some in-game experiences.
These commands were the center piece of the original Xbox One unveiling in May, as it allows players to switch between live TV and various media apps available on the new console.
The silver lining is that the Xbox One functions just fine without Kinect. Similar to the Xbox 360, players can turn Kinect off and navigate the interface using a standard controller.
As Albert Penello, Microsoft’s head of product development, told OXM earlier this week, the Xbox One is also region-free, so anyone should be able to import the console from a region where voice commands are supported.
“In regions like Switzerland where people speak German and French, they can get a German or French console,” said Penello. “It’ll work fine. They can log in to their marketplace, use their language, we don’t geo-fence Live or any of the content any more. We don’t have official language support – but the console still works.”
While the Xbox One will still be usable in all of its launch markets, players simply won’t get a reaction if they buy the console from outside of the five supported regions. You have been warned.