Kinect voice commands not available to Australians

Just hours after Microsoft's Kinect launched in Australia, users are finding one of the device's most hyped features is unavailable Down Under, despite the spoken language being English.

Aussie Kinect owners have begun hitting the official Xbox forums after discovering voice recognition features do not work outside of the US, UK, Canada, Japan and Mexico. Users outside those locales attempting to use voice recognition are met with a message stating: ''Speech recognition is not supported for your LIVE language and locale.''

Voice recognition has been touted as one of the major features of Kinect, and allows users to control movies and the Xbox Dashboard. Misleadingly for would-be Kinect purchasers, Microsoft's Australian Kinect page lists voice recognition as one of the device's features and major selling points.

Forum users have discovered a workaround of sorts - signing out of Xbox Live and changing location to one of the supported locales allows voice recognition to be used, albeit at the cost of all Xbox Live online functions. Forum user ''Knighthoodwink'' claimed to have received confirmation from Xbox Support that the workaround is the only way for non-supported locales to use voice recognition for the time being.

According to New Zealand site TechDay, the reason for the omission is Microsoft's focus on providing native language voice recognition to as many locales as possible. A Microsoft representative told the site that an update adding extra supported locales is expected around March next year.

''Because of the complexity of solving for languages and accents voice support will roll out across the world in waves. In ‘spring’ 2011, Kinect voice support will be available in Canada (French), France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia and New Zealand,'' the representative said.

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