Microsoft to bring voice control to the Kinect in December, Star Wars in 2012

Microsoft’s motion gaming Kinect accessory is about to get more interesting with the addition of voice control in Australian Xbox consoles, arriving in December.

Announced this week, Microsoft will be adding voice controls to entertainment applications in December, allowing Australians to control Xbox movie rentals and future entertainment applications by saying what you want to do out loud.

“People have been communicating with voice and gestures for thousand of years and no we are connecting people to their digital entertainment in much the same way,” said Microsoft Australia’s David McLean. “Technology should not be like a musical instrument that you have to study; it should be something that you can use intuitively.”

Kinect Sports Season 2 will let you speak at the game, allowing you to change options by saying phrases while your hand motions are acted out on screen. No controller needed.

Spoken word controls will arrive in a video game before the entertainment side of Xbox, appearing in the sequel to last year’s “Kinect Sports” video game. In this year’s “Kinect Sports Season Two”, you’ll be able to say “change club” in the game of golf to tell the caddy to change what you use.

Meanwhile, Microsoft also plans to expand the Xbox Live service by offering a music service. Launching on November 16, “Zune Music Pass” will join other streaming services such as Sony’s Entertainment Network and Samsung Music Hub, offering over 10 million tracks for a monthly price.

Microsoft’s service will cost $11.99 per month or $119.90 per year, and will provide an all you can eat feast for your ears provided you’re using a Windows PC, Windows Phone 7 handset, or Xbox 360.

On the games front, Microsoft is also readying quite a few titles for the holiday season and beyond. We’ve provided a quick taste of what’s coming in the video above, looking at games such as Dance Central 2 and Kinect Sports Season 2, as well as the upcoming Star Wars game that allows you to virtually wield a lightsaber and take on hordes of enemies from the Star Wars universe.

Kinect Star Wars doesn’t look like it’ll make landfall until next year, but from what we’ve seen, it’s already shaping up to be a fun experience for anyone who’s ever wanted to become a Jedi. Which is probably anyone who liked Star Wars. Including us.

Announced last week, Sesame Street’s interactive edutainment title also made a brief appearance, demoing the Kinect experience before its release in autumn 2012.