Microsoft’s head of product development Albert Penello has explained why localisation issues have resulted in Xbox One being delayed in eight territories.
Speaking with OXM at gamescom, Penello explained that voice control is an embedded feature in Xbox One’s make-up, and that it’s now far improved over Kinect’s current voice control. “I think people are using the way [voice] works on Xbox 360,” he began, “which was an accessory we built five years after release, as how it’s going to work here.
“But it’s so much more elegant and so much more integrated, and in many ways it’s a lot faster and more convenient. Whereas on Xbox 360 it’s a lesser version of doing the thing you’re used to doing on your controller. This is the part of the internet that’s frustrating, because everybody wants to assume there’s a [units volume] issue. And yet I’m showing real hardware here at Gamescom – a real, final, retail kit. Which I have yet to see my friends show me.
“People assume there’s a volume issue which in fact there isn’t. You’re actually seeing pre-orders pop back up now because we’re able allocate the countries’ volumes back in. It’s there, the problem is localisation. And once people see the system and how integral it is, it’s not just text integration.”
“But at the same time we said, this is a region-free console. In regions like Switzerland where people speak German and French, they can get a German or French console. 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.”
We’re still not entirely sure when Xbox One will launch in territories unaffected by these localisation issues, but recent rumours suggest November 8 is the big day.