Xbox is testing accessibility features for Party Chat


The philosophy of the day when it comes to media seems to be “everyone’s included”, and has inspired a big push from companies to make their products accessible to all. Xbox is the latest to have taken on this mantra, and is testing out some new accessibility features to its Party Chat function. 

Xbox wants everyone to chat

In an announcement, Xbox explained that two new features were being added to Party Chat: speech-to-text transcription and text-to-speech synthesis. 

They do pretty much exactly what it says on their tins. Speech-to-text makes it so that whatever the members of your party are saying aloud in chat is converted into text and displayed in a neat little box laid over your gameplay. You can adjust this box in terms of size and positioning as you like. This is particularly useful for those that are hard of hearing. 

Text-to-speech gives the ability to type something into chat and have it read out loud by a synthetic voice to your party members. As a nice touch, Xbox has included several different voices per language that the feature is available in, for a more human touch. 

Both features are great additions to the platform, and a good step for Xbox towards inclusion and accessibility. The features aren’t available to the masses just yet, they’re currently only being tested by members of Xbox’s Insider program. 

If you happen to be an insider, you can find both features by heading over to Settings, navigating to Ease of Access, and selecting Game and chat transcription. You can also turn either feature on or off while you’re in a Party chat by selecting Options and then Ease of Access settings. 


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