American Sign Language seems to be just one of the communication methods Kinect won't recognize when it launches. American English, British English, Japanese and Mexican Spanish will all be understood by the system's voice recognition software, but Canadian English speakers, as well as Spaniards other and continental Europeans won't be able to converse with their Xbox 360s until a later date.
Microsoft plans to bring voice commands to Europe and Canada in Spring 2011, according to a company representative speaking to Eurogamer.
The situation seems to be based mostly on numbers, and the function will be locked out according to region. I don't know if this means that North Dakota and upper Minnesota residents will have problems talking to their consoles, since near-Canadian accents can be found up there. And who knows about Alaska? It certainly makes one want to comb through vlogger accounts during launch week to see if Juno and Montgomery residents are able to tell Kinect what to do with the same ease.
Unfortunately, even Americans living in Canada will be unable to use voice functions due to the regional lock issue. And that could be problematic for those who were getting excited about telling their new ESPN programming when to start and stop on the new, pricier Xbox Live. In the meantime, Spring 2011 isn't all that far away, but it's significantly later than the 2010 holiday season.
Is Kinect going to be able to understand you when you speak to it? Are you surprised by Microsoft's voice-related choices? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.