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Xbox Party Chat gets text-to-speech and speech-to-text as accessibility push continues

"We strive to make Xbox the most inclusive gaming platform on the planet".

Continuing its welcome push for accessibility and inclusivity on Xbox, Microsoft has introduced a number of new features to its Xbox Party Chat system.

The new accessibility features - which will initially be available to those signed up to the Xbox Insiders programme, starting today, 13th May - specifically bring speech-to-text transcription and text-to-speech synthesis to Microsoft's system-wide Xbox Party Chat.

The former coverts all words spoken by members of a party chat into adjustable text, overlaid on gameplay, while the latter reads out any text chat in a synthetic voice.

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As Microsoft explains, "Either one of these features (or both working together) can be used to help gamers who are deaf or hard of hearing and/or cannot or choose not to speak to participate in Xbox Party Chat without special accommodation from others in the party."

"They are also generally useful for detecting microphone problems," it adds, "or distinguishing game audio from people in the party talking!".

Those wishing to use Microsoft's new Xbox Party Chat accessibility features can enable them under Settings by navigating to Ease of Access > Game and chat transcription.

Today's update is the latest step toward Microsoft's stated goal of making Xbox "the most inclusive gaming platform on the planet", which has so far included new software features, clever hardware design additions, even an entirely new accessibility focussed controller.