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According to a report over at TheVerge, Microsoft may be planning to implement some kind of voice-recognition technology into its upcoming home entertainment system, dubbed unofficially the ‘Xbox 720′. The current direction of the Xbox 360 implies the next-gen console will serve as more than a mere gaming portal, and with the 720 also said to be expanding on the current array of set-top box-like features, it looks as though the power of the voice will also be significantly entrenched into the next-generation offering.

Ironically, Apple’s frequently-rumored connected TV set is said also to employ the use of voice-recognition technology, but if the Verge report winds up being accurate, it’s fair to say Microsoft will have beat its old Cupertino rival to the hit. While the current flagship Microsoft console includes its own set of voice recognition features, the next-gen console will be handed an altogether more advanced inventory, including such features as natural language processing.

The new voice technologies could, in theory, be used to wake the Xbox up by means of a command, and combined with Kinect, would serve as a very interactive system indeed. Xbox 720 could listen to your commands, while Kinect could be used to detect other players in one space, perhaps throwing up suggestions for some multiplayer action.

Other queries may include the ability to ask which games friends are playing, or even ask the machine to continue a particular movie from a point in which it was last playing. It’s certainly exciting stuff, and as Microsoft continues to morph its popular gaming device into an all-round entertainment machine, these kinds of reports are only going to ramp up anticipation for the launch of the 720.

Whether it will live up to the expectation remains to be seen, but with smart TVs now edging towards natural language processing, it looks as though Microsoft is assessing all avenues.

The next-gen Xbox is expected to debut at this year’s E3, and with Sony also purported for announcement on 20th of this month, it’s a great time to be involved in the gaming world.

We’ll be sure to keep you guys in the loop regarding any further next-gen Xbox-related news, so make sure you stay tuned to our coverage here at Redmond Pie!

(via TheVerge)

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