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Xbox party chat adds TTS and STT

In recent years, the industry has been pushing towards offering a greater level of accessibility. Within this, Microsoft has been great in adopting new features. Now, the console manufacturer has added both text-to-speech and speech-to-text across its party chat app, making communication much easier.

Making the announcement on its blog, the Xbox’s June update has been detailed, with Microsoft saying “At Team Xbox, we believe gaming should be inclusive, approachable, and accessible to everyone. That includes making it easy for gamers to play and communicate together. Party chat, used by gamers around the world to talk to their friends while playing, now supports converting speech into text and text into speech. Each of these features can be used to help gamers who are deaf or hard of hearing and/or cannot or choose not to speak.”

With that, the team has added both text-to-speech, which lets players “type into party text chat and have that read by a synthetic voice to the rest of the people in the party (with a choice of several voices per language),” and speech-to-text, which allows players to “have all words spoken by the people in a party converted into text that’s displayed in an adjustable overlay on top of gameplay.”

Both of these features are incredibly useful to those who are hard of hearing or with vision problems – and while it is unlikely to be perfect in its translation – these new functionalities are very welcome. PlayStation similarly offers these features already, and so it's good to see more console manufacturers focusing on such beneficial accessibility features. The full June update can be found HERE.

KitGuru says: What do you think of the update? Will you use either TTS or STT? What other accessibility features do you want to see added? Let us know down below.

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