Microsoft's next-generation Xbox will feature improved voice recognition technology across the board, sources have told The Verge. People reportedly familiar with the next Xbox say it will support "wake on" voice, natural-language controls, and speech-to-text. Gamers will be able to walk into a room and say "Xbox on" to boot up the console, these people said.
In addition, a Kinect sensor--perhaps the rumored Kinect V2--will be able to detect users in a room and suggest appropriate multiplayer games based on a voice search, the sources said.
This natural-language detection is said to be similar to Apple's Siri service, which allows users to ask questions and see results in real time. In an Xbox context, players could ask, "What are my friends playing?" and their friends list would appear.
Speech-to-text will be built into the Xbox 720, the sources said, allowing users to input messages and codes with their voices and not through manual button presses. On top of this, the next-generation platform will reportedly feature Skype integration in some way. Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion, though the video service has yet to appear on the Xbox.
Microsoft has yet to discuss plans beyond the Xbox 360 and declined to comment on this rumor. The company is believed to announce its next-generation platform at an Apple-style media presentation in March, perhaps in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference.