Xbox Party Chat is being bolstered with support for speech into text transcription and synthesis of speech from text.
Microsoft said the new feature will initially be made available to Xbox Insiders, and is part of its bid to "make Xbox the most inclusive gaming platform on the planet."
The company noted that while it already offers game transcription for converting in-game player speech to text and reading chat text aloud, it was keen to improve in other areas.
Those who enable speech-to-text transcription will see all the words spoken by their party converted into text that will be displayed in an adjustable overlay on top of gameplay (as shown below).
Enabling text-to-speed synthesis, meanwhile, will enable users to have whatever they type into Party Text Chat read aloud by a synthetic voice, with support for several voices per language.
"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," said Microsoft. "They are also generally useful for detecting microphone problems or distinguishing game audio from people in the party talking."
You can find out more about each feature, including how to enable them, on the Xbox Wire blog.