The new console countdowns for Sony and Microsoft continue to develop with new news and feature hints, and the latest one comes from the latter of the pair, as the American company’s proposed ‘New Xbox’ is reported to introduce a ‘Siri-style’ voice recognition control.
Users of the eighth-generation console will most likely have the ability to turn on the console using only their voice (via specific commands), and in the manner of Siri, The Verge also claims that users can direct questions to the device along with applying ’speech-to-text’ services in order to compose messages.
The report also implies that users will be able to use the hands-free controls to ask what games their friends are playing, as well as playing back videos from where they last left them. On a slightly related note, it is also implied that the Kinect camera (which will most likely house the voice recognition system as before), will be able to sense the number of individuals in a room, using the information to suggest ‘appropriate multiplayer games’ that the whole room can participate in.
While it all joins a list of feature rumours that include ‘full-room’ Kinect enhancements, 3D support, ‘Xbox TV’, and two CPU systems (on a gaming/media split), the most notable (and unfortunate) suggestion to occur also happened this month, as it was strongly implied that the new Xbox will need a ‘constant internet connection’ to function.
This move, aside from being a problem for people out in areas with poor connection speeds, will also hamper the second-hand games industry, with the system checking to see if the game has not been used on a previous console and restricting access where it ‘sees fit’ (presumably with workarounds to officialy ‘reset’ the disc when needed and approved).
Though it remains to be seen exactly what will be on the new Xbox and when it will launch (with many predictions guessing later this year), will a ‘living’ voice control system become one of the most significant items on the menu? At least then you can have an argument with the console when it doesn’t run a game that you already paid for…