Microsoft have said today that Kinect will only accept voice recognition in American English, British English, Japanese and Mexican Spanish until Spring 2011.
That means gamers in mainland Europe are not going to be able to use the voice recognition features of Kinect- even if they can speak one of the supported languages. The region-locked nature of the Xbox 360 will mean the features will be completely locked out to them anyway. Microsoft have defended their choice of Mexican Spanish over Spanish with words to the tune of ‘there’s more of them that will give us money.’
It’s all a bit ridiculous really; couldn’t they have held off on the whole thing until they had it finished? I think not; this way, they’ve projected to make more money, I expect. I don’t even see how it’s going to work- a Scouser in the UK has a completely different way of talking to someone from the Home Counties, and a Alabama born-and-bred American is going to sound completely different to a New Yorker. They’ll have had to do a lot of testing, so why couldn’t they have done it for other languages as well?