Microsoft to Add Live Transcriptions to Game Chats

Posted on March 16, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10, Xbox, Xbox One with 3 Comments

Microsoft to Add Transcriptions to Game Chats

In a win for accessibility, Microsoft revealed today that it will add live game chat transcriptions to Xbox Live games on both Xbox One and Windows 10.

“Today, Microsoft is releasing a new pilot feature available on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs called Game Chat Transcription,” an announcement on the Microsoft Accessibility blog notes. “This feature allows speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities, offering a new way to communicate that creates a more accessible and inclusive gaming experience for everyone.”

As the parent of a deaf child, I’m of course excited by this announcement, which is really just the latest in an ongoing series of accessibility improvements that Microsoft has made to its platforms in recent years. It wasn’t that long ago that you could buy movies and TV shows from Microsoft, for example, that didn’t even include captioning support. So this is a nice change.

According to Microsoft, the chat transcription capabilities will launch first on Halo Wars 2 for both Xbox One and Windows 10 and will be expanded over time.

To enable this feature, launch the game and navigate to Settings > All Settings > Ease of Access and locate the section called Game Chat Transcription. To transcribe other players’ voices into text, enable the option “Speech-to-text.” To have the text you type read aloud to others, enable “Text-to-speech.” You can also choose which voice to use, Microsoft notes.

Good stuff. Bravo, Microsoft.


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