May 31, 2005 2:29 PM PDT

Xbox 360 keeps its voice

Despite additions to the Xbox 360, you'll still be able to trash talk your friends via the new console. That's because Microsoft is keeping the same voice recognition software found in the original Xbox for its next-generation game and entertainment device.

The software giant announced Tuesday that it has extended its contract with Fonix Speech, an operating division of Fonix in Salt Lake City. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The voice recognition feature debuted in the original Xbox design and became a key factor in Microsoft's launch of Xbox Live service back in November 2002. With it, gamers can chat back and forth during networked games or interact while watching movies or listening to music.

The feature was so successful, Microsoft pushed to include voice chat in every Xbox game title. Fonix said its voice command technology is included in Xbox-compatible Tom Clancy titles from Ubisoft; Delta Force-Black Hawk Down, published by Novalogic; and SWAT: Global Strike Team, published by Vivendi Universal Games.

Keeping the continuity with Fonix is one of several steps Microsoft is taking to make sure Xbox 360 is backward-compatible with its predecessor.

Microsoft has yet to publish prices or release dates for its Xbox 360. Various reports suggest the console will be globally released in November and competitively priced to match its current $299 price tag.

When it debuts, Microsoft said its Xbox 360 will have a 20GB hard drive, a custom-built IBM PowerPC-based CPU, high-definition game support and a 500MHz ATI graphics processor.

6 comments

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Current $299 price tag?
Come on CNET!
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
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Not to mention...
The games listed by Fonix are games that actually use voice recognition...the writer of this story somehow connected voice chat with voice recognition, which are two totally separate things: voice command or voice recognition is used in a handful of games, all of which are squad-based tactical shooters, and allows the player to issue voice commands to CPU-controlled teammates; voice chat is used in nearly every Xbox game that has multiplayer through Xbox Live and is simply two or more players having a conversation with each other. I'm presuming this story was written based on the press release on Fonix's site here [1] which you'll note doesn't mention voice chat or Xbox Live at all.

Finally, voice chat is not surviving "despite" additions, it is a key component of Xbox Live and continuing it's place as such on the 360.

[1] <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.fonix.com/page.cfm?name=news&#38;id=1546" target="_newWindow">http://www.fonix.com/page.cfm?name=news&#38;id=1546</a>
Posted by tubedogg (31 comments )
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I have Microsoft Office 2003 with voice to text and text to voice capabilities, but I can't get it working right; sometimes it works and sometimes not. I am in a word document and type "Hello there" then click on "Speak" but no words are said. the person(s) who created this speech to text and text to speech software is / are jackass(es) of the HIGHEST CALIBRE. They will tell you anything to get you to believe their rubbish. Please let Microsoft know their voice to text and text to voice software is garbage. Please e-mail me at jesuschrysler1@live.com Thank you.
Posted by navelbutton (4 comments )
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