Monday, September 27, 2021

Xbox Party Chat update adds new accessibility options

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A new update for Xbox Party Chat has added text-to-speech and speech-to-text capabilities, providing an enhanced level of accessibility and useful features for the system.

On a post in Xbox Wire blog, Microsoft has added the two features in hope to further the goal of making gaming “inclusive, approachable, and accessible to everyone”. These two new options should make it easier to chat for people who are hard of hearing or deaf, and those who cannot or choose not to speak over voice chat but wanted to chat by texting.

The speech-to-text option for Xbox Party Chat will provide a live “written transcript” of all things being said in the party chat. Sony already supports this with its own PlayStation chat system. If you’ve used that, you may already be familiar with how the speech-to-text option is going to work.

As how text-to-speech works, it will have words you type into the party text chat spoken aloud to the rest of the party with a robotic voice. Users can choose one of these several voices to represent them in their party chat. These settings can be enabled from the Ease of Access menu in the Xbox Settings. Search for the Game and chat transcription section to choose from the options that are relevant to you.

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