Microsoft has told Eurogamer Spain that Kinect voice recognition will be disabled for mainland Europe until spring 2011 (so, UK will work). Despite what we posted earlier, these regions will not have voice control when Kinect launches.
The company confirmed rumours that the voice-recognition software will only accept American and British English – as well as Japanese and Mexican Spanish – at launch this November. Even French Canadians will have to wait until spring 2011 to be able to control the system via voice. English Canadians are okay (source) and may use Kinect voice controlled from launch! So, that makes three available languages at launch (with two English variants)!
Frustratingly, even those fluent in English – or Spanish speakers that can imitate Mexican Spanish – won’t be allowed to activate Kinect voice recognition due to the region-locked status of their Xbox 360. Microsoft went on to explain that the decision to support Mexican Spanish and not native Spanish was a case of numbers: there are 106 million Spanish speakers in the US and 13 million Mexicans with Xbox 360 consoles. And that compares favourably to the 45 million people in Spain.
Bad news for Europe and French Canada, but Microsoft is probably trying to make sure everybody has the best experience with Kinect the first time. Do you think this is a good decision? Maybe, the gamers that are left out are able to install another update when they login with another gamertag – but that would have to be confirmed.