Fans of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim better start practicing their “Fus Ro Dah®.”

After musing over the prospect of Kinect integration during a developer-sanctioned, post-launch “Game Jam” (and after awesome community videos from groups like PC Games Kinected), Bethesda has finally announced that a free Kinect-support Skyrim update will be released on the Xbox 360 later this month – and weaponizing our voice boxes is high on the features list.

Many gamers are quick to equate Kinect with the use of motion control – shooting up the Old West in The Gunstringer or throwing dirt on storied franchises in Kinect Star Wars. Bethesda’s perogative for Skyrim however, appears to be the use of the technology’s voice recognition in streamlining what can be a massive control set. The developer released a statement outlining the new update and discussed some of the 200+ new Voice Commands built for the platform:

“The Kinect for Xbox 360 integration offers Voice Commands throughout the game including Dragon Shouts, Hotkey Equipping, Follower Commands, and all Menus (Items, Magic, Map, Barter, Container, Favorites, and Skills). With Voice Commands, quickly create and load saves during gameplay and access menus and inventories. Skyrim’s Kinect for Xbox 360 Support also adds new functionality including special map functions, additional hotkey options, and the ability to sort inventory items by name, weight, and value.”

Curiously, it doesn’t appear as though the Kinect update will offer any motion capabilities all, a la Mass Effect 3. It might be better off, considering that the game has a way of sucking gamers in for hours on end; the constant rotation of weapons and spells during combat and expansive terrain to navigate would likely wear most of us out after a quest or two. For those holding out hope, though, Bethesda did promise that more Xbox-exclusive Skyrim enhancements are on the way – including content for new quests, locations, features, and more.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the new voice command trailer below for a visual rundown of the features.

Bethesda certainly has an affable reputation for supporting its games well after their initial release. After the wildly successful Skyrim Creation Kit and hints at the first DLC pack (possibly entitled “Dawnguard“), it definitely feels like the company is exiting the bug-fixing patch mode, and allowing their creativity and passion for Tamriel to flourish anew.

Ranters, what uses do you wish to get out of the Skyrim-Kinect integration? Will dragon shouts be more fierce? Controls more smooth? Or, does it feel like more of a gimmick (albeit a free one)?

[Update: The Skyrim Kinect update is set to release the week of April 23.]

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