New York – Recoton Corp. announced that Microsoft has awarded an OEM contract to STD Holding, a manufacturing subsidiary of Recoton, to develop and manufacture a speech recognition-capable headset accessory product, for use with the Xbox video game system.
The voice recognition and communication features of the Xbox will enable users to operate and control certain games using voice commands through the headset’s microphone, called the Xbox Communicator, that is being jointly developed by STD and Microsoft. The Xbox is planned to launch November 8 while the broadband online gaming service will debut in the spring of 2002. Created under contract between STD and Microsoft, the Xbox Communicator will be marketed by Microsoft as part of its Xbox branded peripheral line of products.
The buzz over Xbox has been growing since its public unveiling in January at CES. More than 200 software publishers and developers have announced their intent to develop for the platform. In May at E3, InterAct Accessories Inc., the video game accessory marketing subsidiary of Recoton, demonstrated Xbox accessory products that will be available at launch and stated that many other unique products are also in development.
Robert Borchardt, chairman, president and CEO of Recoton, said, ‘We are honored that Microsoft has chosen STD to work on this milestone product. We believe that this agreement will showcase the expertise of STD in developing and manufacturing innovative peripherals for the video gaming industry. We also believe that this agreement reflects the solid relationship that STD has built over the years with Microsoft through its work on previous OEM contracts. We intend to continue to expand our relationship with Microsoft to develop new and unique products for the Xbox platform.’
Todd Holmdahl, Microsoft’s general manager, Xbox hardware, said, “This revolutionary voice recognition product will help make the Xbox online gaming experience an extremely positive one. We needed to work with OEM suppliers that could match the high quality control level we hold ourselves to at Xbox, and based on past performance we knew that STD would meet those standards.”
In March 2001, InterAct Accessories Inc., the marketing arm of Recoton’s video and computer gaming segment and the marketing arm of STD, announced a world-wide licensing agreement for the manufacturing and distribution of third-party gaming accessories for the Xbox platform.