Xbox One Kinect
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Xbox One without Kinect will sell more consoles, but kills any potential the Kinect had

Yesterday Microsoft broke my heart and the hearts of early Xbox One adopters around the world. In case you missed it, Microsoft announced a Kinect-less version of the Xbox One will be offered for $399. That’s $100 cheaper than the current Xbox One SKU. That Xbox One sans Kinect will be available on June 9th in all regions where the Xbox One is already available. That bright future of the Kinect with the Xbox One that Microsoft promised last summer is now dead.

Melodramatic much? Probably. Bitter that I feel burned as an early adopter? Undoubtedly. My gut reaction is that this is a bad move for the original vision of the Xbox One. Of course, we’ve already had those DRM policies, and periodic internet connection requirements dropped last summer after heavy backlash. I still dream for that future where up to 10 friends and family members could access my Xbox One game collection anywhere in the world. Maybe someday that’ll come back when we’re all ready for it, but Microsoft has killed any future with the Kinect.

The Xbox One is the most expensive system for the eight generation of consoles. It’s launched in November for $499 and had to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 4 which retails for $399 around most of the world (sorry Canada). Nintendo’s Wii U can be picked up for $299, though it’s really struggling this generation. For all intents and purposes, the Xbox One is competing directly with the PlayStation 4.

Microsoft bungled the Xbox One message for the better part of 2013. They failed to communicate their vision for the Xbox One and the result was an uphill battle that they caused. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s the early adopters that are going to suffer the most with the decision to remove Kinect from the Xbox One.

We’re going to look at the good, the bad and the ugly for Microsoft’s decision to axe Kinect in a new Xbox One SKU.

The Good

Look, I can’t be overly negative about the whole situation. It’s not good for my health, and I’m doing my best to leave my emotions out of this. When I do that it’s easy to see the ‘good’ in giving the Kinect a backseat.

Despite launching a year before the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the Wii U has only been able to move 6.17 million units. That’s less than the 7 million moved by the PlayStation 4 and a little bit more than the 5 million pushed by the Xbox One. Of course, Microsoft’s real competitor for the living room isn’t with the Wii U, but with the PlayStation 4.

Consumers are going to go for the system that’s cheaper. We’re only six months into the battle between the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. We’re years off claiming a victor, but the PlayStation 4 has managed to grab an early lead. Microsoft doesn’t want to cede any ground to Sony’s camp. Dropping the price to $399 for an Xbox One will undoubtedly make buyers think hard about going with a PlayStation 4.

The good in dropping the Kinect (and therefore the price) from an Xbox One? More systems will be in living rooms. The gap between units shipped will close between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Another potentially good move for dropping Kinect? Broader availability of the Xbox One. Right now Microsoft has to work hard to make some of the features of Kinect available to local markets. The localization of features is why things like Cortana won’t be available to everyone around the world at once. Dropping Kinect means Microsoft can potentially speed up the time it takes to make the Xbox One available in some regions. For example, sell the Kinect-free version in a new market and don’t stress about killer Kinect support at launch. Bring that Kinect support once you offer the Kinect as an optional accessory in that territory. The move could potentially see the Xbox One showing up in sooner in new markets.

The Bad

Dropping the Kinect was a short-sighted, knee-jerk reaction from Microsoft. A year hasn’t even passed since the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Remember last summer when Microsoft said they’d never offer a Kinect-free version of the Xbox One? Oof. There better be some execs eating crow in Redmond right now. Early adopters have been burned and left with an accessory that probably won’t get any action going forward.

The bad? Microsoft looks willing to change their stance after vehemently defending it. That’s a flip-floppy attitude and one that doesn’t install faith in customers. I’m happy more folks will get an Xbox One because of the move, but I think Microsoft should have stuck to their guns a bit more and dragged consumers into the future. Kinect was the future.

And the Ugly

Kinect is dead on the Xbox One.

This move signals that Microsoft has no faith in Kinect on Xbox One. The future of Kinect was written on the wall at launch. Microsoft failed to deliver a compelling Kinect experience and they haven’t done so in the six months following.

I’m disappointed because Kinect on Xbox One had so much potential, but that potential just hit a brick wall.

In June when the Kinect-less Xbox One goes on sale there won’t be a compelling reason to own a Kinect. Right now there’s not one game I own where Kinect is used on a regular basis. I guess Kinect really is a gimmick when it comes to gaming. Nobody over the age of 8 gets excited about Kinect Sports Rivals, and that’s the best use of Kinect in a game available on the Xbox One right now.

You’d think that Microsoft would have had a title available at launch or shortly after launch that highlighted the strengths of Kinect. That would have helped justify the bundling of it with every Xbox One. Microsoft failed there, and now early adopters are getting the shaft.

Less than a month from now the majority of consumers will start to buy Xbox One consoles without Kinect. By the holiday season, I wouldn’t be surprised if those without Kinect made up the majority of Xbox One owners.

The potential that Kinect had for gaming on the Xbox One? It’s gone. Third-party developers aren’t going to want to target an experience that only reaches half of the install base. Whether that happens by the holidays or not won’t matter, at some point the majority of Xbox One owners won’t have a Kinect. This is Kinect on the Xbox 360 all over.

The Future

The only one that can fix this mess is Microsoft. Was it a good business decision to axe the Kinect? Most definitely. But they also sent the wrong message to early adopters. Over 5 million Xbox One owners now have a Kinect, but no compelling gaming experience to go with it.

Microsoft has said that they’ll make the Kinect for Xbox One available as an optional accessory. This is so those that pick up the $399 Xbox One can someday later buy it if they want. But are they going to want to? It doesn’t seem likely.

We haven’t seen any indication that third-party developers are building killer Kinect experiences for the new generation. It’s going to be up to Microsoft and their first-party studios to create gaming scenarios where users actually enjoy using the sophisticated motion detector.

It’s a shame too because Kinect on the Xbox One is so much better than the original. The new version has greater accuracy with three times the fidelity and is capable of tracking without visible light thanks to an active infrared sensor. Its field of vision was also widened by 60 percent and is capable of detecting a user as close as 3 feet. It can track 6 skeletons at once, detect heart rate, facial expression, the position and orientation of 25 individual joints, speed of player movement, and the weight placed on each limb.

Microsoft should be working hard to take that technology and create a compelling game.

Your turn

Are you bummed out or excited now that you’ll be able to pick up an Xbox One without Kinect? Take our poll and let your emotions out in the comments.

Reading this in our app? Head to Internet Explorer to take the poll: m.wpcentral.com/xbox-one-without-kinect-will-sell-more-consoles-kills-any-potential-kinect-had

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Reader comments

Xbox One without Kinect will sell more consoles, but kills any potential the Kinect had

476 Comments

Maybe Microsoft should have thought hard beforehand and came up with a more powerful ("faster") hardware in general.

"Flip flop" attitude, when you have made a major boo-boo like Vista, is a must. People weren't going to buy the XB1 because it was a friggin' $100 more expensive and had inferior hardware.

The guys who made the decisions in the first place, to force customers to have access to the Internet all the time (well, once in 24 hours) should HAVE BEEN FIRED. Microsoft has (had?) this arrogant, "Applish" idea of themselves as the "king". They think they can pull off what Apple does, if they put a premium price tag on their products or force people to accept what they think is best.

Apple never made Windows ME. They never made Windows Vista. They never decided on a whim that a menu 90% of the world relied on every day should be replaced with something so unresearched, it had to be modified every 6 months to gain part of the functionality of the original thing that'd been removed.

Almost every move Apple made, was the right move. Every segment they enter they are a game-changer. They didn't sit on something as ridiculous as Windows Mobile for years, refusing to change until 2010, years after Apple had changed the game and Google had gotten the clue.

And now, they realize they have made a PRIMARILY GAMING SYSTEM that is supposed to be there for say at least 5 years, that can barely support even today's video resolution demands.

It's like they are blind. Makes me furious.

Apple always done the right move and almost bankruptcy in the past. Say thanks to Microsoft if the still alive

Why is it people have no clue that esram is the future?! They didn't make an inferior HW. Resource files are the future. In terms of if HW specs it seems inferior but in reality it's actually more powerful than PS4.

That 32mb of esram is able to off load 6gb of texture getting up the systems ram. On a PS 4 if you want to load a lots of textures it'll eat up the systems team and processing. On X1, the esram can free up the resources on the system.

The issue is its new and developers still haven't learned or received updated SDK from MS. In fact from what I read you can pretty much run 1080p at 60fps just from the esram. TRs is the future and it will better implemented with direct x12..

Why? Personally I wouldn't have even remotely considered buying an xbone without connect, I bought it almost purely for the voice commands. I played deadrising to death, and the next time a good zombie game or gta comes out ill use it for gaming again, but until then its an accessory to turn to tv on and off for me :D (I do use it for Xbox music as well actually)

you realize a 5 dollar mic would have done what you want. why not put the other 95 to do things like, o man god forbid computing power for better graphics? say 1080p? or say, dare I say....60fps?

What?  The current limitation to 1080p at 60Hz gaminig isn't due to the fact Microsoft wanted the Kinect 2 to be integral part of the system (when they said that before launch.). No, that's currently a limitation of the developer tools, as the APU is the same as the PS4 (except for a slight difference in GPU RAM frequency.). And I've seen no decernable difference between the PS4 and Xbox One playing COD or Battlefield.  And I prefer the overall experience with the Xbox One.

wrong. about 10% of the xbox power is reserved for kinect. no kinect = 10% boost. will that take us to 1080p? I can't tell you that. But one thing is certain, there is about a 50% higher performance on the PS4. IF they can get that to 40% they are 10% closer to 1080p than they were before. Remember kinect doesn't have a processor. it isn't a magical box. the sophisticated image processing it does taxes the system. thereis no free lunch.

http://www.dualshockers.com/2014/05/14/kinect-less-xbox-one-could-earn-performance-boost/

One microphone wouldn't pinpoint sound sources and cancel noise like the array of microphones on the Kinect would.

and you don't need all those cameras to have your array then. ok make it 20 bucks for the mic array at best. 80 bucks left for more gaming power.

Take the PS4, remove the slant it has, and its the same size if not larger then the Xbox One, plus MS wants that "Modern" look, like Windows 8, Square... Aside that, I have a Xbox One, love it, still love PC more then anything though, but if I ever need to get another Xbox One for any reason, I would still buy it with Kinnect. No way I would buy it without.

I don't need to fanbou, at the moment, the PS4 is thinner, why? Because its on a slant. Does size matter for consoles? Not like your carrying it around in your pocket... It sits there... Usually just under a table or something... Look at PC, they can be anywhere from bigger to smaller then consoles. Yet is a billion times better. Screw both consoles, no console van ever beat PC.

Making it mandatory was a bad move to begin with. The only potential it has is to be used as a webcam with mic. It sucks for games.

ha ha. I'd say it is also a pretty decent skype box. I mean it follows you around and all. plus I must admit, the sign in feature is nice. However...ain't worth 100 bucks. I would much rather have seen then take that money, load up the xbox with GDDR5, more streaming processing units, more RAM. blow the freaking doors out that PS4 thing and make them sony spec fanboys cry :)

Have you tried it? Because it really doesn't. Peeking around corners in Battlefield was a gimmick, sure, but it worked and once you got used to it it worked well. The same goes for the integration in Dead Rising and Forza.

Really disagree on the Forza integration. The head tracking was awful, and doesn't map to your movement (you lean side to side to tilt your head one screen? Gimmick)

Voice commands worked really well in FIFA, brought forward a shit tonne fo functionality that otherwise would of required stopping play and finding the command.

Head tracking was WAY better on the 360 with V1 Kinect. WAY Better. I find it unusable on this version.

I'm not sure it was a bad move, just maybe too optimistic. The fact is that core 360 consoles didn't kill devs making games that require a hdd. Dropping the kinect won't kill master stroke games that come up with a truly original idea to use it. It will simply delay them and reduce their scope. triple a titles won't (and maybe never will) utilise kinect, but indie devs will still come up with killer games.

Yeah, it was way too ambitious a move for Microsoft to make. The only way they could get away with mandatory Kinect is if it didn't result in a major price increase, or if they had exceptional Kinect functionality at launch to make people want it.

But of course, Microsoft did neither. Kinect is a nice bit of kit, but nowhere near nice enough to ease the pain of paying three years worth of Xbox Live subscription for...

Yall are crazy, an expensive Skype box.. The Kinect is worth more than $100, I turn on my system by talking, it signs me in, I don't know where my cable box remote is half the time. I change the channel, nut the tv, turn up the volume.. Yall are crazy talking about a Skype box.. If apple were to release a machine that did half what the Kinect does it would sell for 299 and half of the world would be praising it

I dont use Skype, I know where my tv remote is, and I'm perfectly fine with pushing a few buttons to watch Netflix and play a game. So where is the value in Kinect for me? Why should I have to pay 100 extra dollars for something I'm never going to use? This was a great move by Microsoft and will make my decision much harder when I finally have to decide between PS4 and Xbox One.

Maybe the fact that the market will be drastically reduced?! Or are you expecting many people to buy kinetic just for the sake of it?!

The sales of the ps4 camera are enough to prove that the Kinect isn't dead. Wounded maybe but certainly not dead.

No, dead. There is a rather big difference between the PlayStation camera and the Kinect. In any case, making it optional means the incentive for developers to integrate it into mainstream titles goes away. Why spend all that time and money adding Kinect support to their PlayStation and/or PC port when the installed user base is even smaller than the already smallish console market.

Do we know of any games since the launch of Xbox One that really integrated Kinect? Any solid rumor/leak even? Up to this week we all thought it'll be a mandatory part of the console, yet not a word on any developer commitment anyway. Mean while, the extra 100 dollar is barring people from buying the machine, because they don't want to pay 100 for something that they don't use much, and this is hurting the overall platform. 

Future games, if MS is committed enough to invest, can have certain levels or modes that fully integrate Kinect, making it something that people want to buy independently if they want that experience. This is overall a good move for the platform.

By "big difference" you mean the Kinect is a lot better than the PS camera, right?

Currently there are 5 million Xbox One's in the wild with Kinect, and 0 without. I would think this is a large enough install base for developers to make money from their kinect title. I would think even 1 million in sales would be considered successful for a kinect title. And not everyone will buy the cheaper version, some will prefer the premium version of the console with kinect.

This keeps the pressure on developers to make a game people feel is worth buying kinect for. If they deliver the game, people will buy the kinect.

It's a shame that the developers just can't envision a really practical use for the Kinect. The same as version one on the 360. I'm going to have to agree with you on this.

I disagree, and I disagree with the WPC article. Kinect is far from dead. Completely the opposite in fact..
By making Kinect part of the package initially, MS have milked Xbox one fans and early adopters to already have an installed Kinect base of 5m.
By end of this year I reckon that will be more like 7m.
That's a massive developer opportunity and secures the Kinect future.
Now Xbox One is cheaper and with new markets, I reckon it will power ahead on sales.

It is a bad move. PS4 is still more powerful for the same price. X1 is going to be a Halo/Titanfall machine.

Would you like to be a gimped loser? Because that's also an option with high probability right now.

 

Who's really happy with Xbox at this point? The ones who never wanted Kinect still point to a console that is weaker than PS4 and leaders who flip flop and are untrustworthy. The ones who want Kinect are straddled with a console with poor developer support and leaders who flip flop and make deeply dishonest promises. They've alienated everyone to some extent. The only way for them to come back from the abyss is to deliver new innovation and must have software. They've let everyone down, and I mean truly everyone.

It's an unfortunate move, but they had to make it. It's sad that innovation is constantly being hampered by cheapskates and people that can't handle change.

No doubt, I loved Win8 back then too and when everyone started talking shit about it, I just couldn't see wut they were talking about...i never even used the start menu, everything was on the desktop or taskbar. This is just a redo

They didn't have to drop it this early in its life.  MS has the cash, so what they should have done instead is

1) drop the price to 399 but KEEP Kinect and eat the lost - this would at least give the X1 the appeal of value (hey you get more than the PS4 for the same price, instead of the current "WTF it's the same price as the PS4 but it's weaker hardware"), they should at least give the Kinect another year before killing it.

2) MS must lead and not sit on its arse - they need to make the first killer must have Kinect-only/Kinect-deep integrated game
 

It's an all round, knee-jerk bad move that's only interested in the short term bottom line with no long term vision.
 

Woha! That's a lot of loss to eat! They are probably already selling the console with a loss. Same goes for Sony. They always do an Terry to get the cash back afterwards via games and subscriptions.

If Microsoft sold the current Kinect setup for $399, it would certainly be a hell of a deal and I think it would be at least on par with PS4 in sales. Personally, I would still buy a PS4 though because Xbox doesn't currently have a fully fledged MLB game. I like my baseball games :P

Rubbish to you but gold to me. I love being able to give my Xbox commands when using it. I use the damned thing every day. This is the future even if you don't agree.

To me its a gimmick that almost never works properly. The only entertainment it has brought into our house was had by my wife as she watches me and the kids try to have it do what its told. I would like to see Cortana on the One, but id guess that would require the divisions within Microsoft to work together.

You said it already, if Microsoft themselves couldn't make any compelling content for the Kinect the potential was already lost. And its been true even on the 360 so this really is just Microsoft dropping the ball again.

That's right.
Kinect was never truly integrated with the A+ Games, Except for FIFA14 and RYSE.
I use Kinect everyday and love it, but I know not everyone shares my love for Kinect.
So to this end it's good news.

Hd,
I think your right on the money. Microsoft is on a roll the past two years and I have seen smart moves all over (list is to long to point that out here) but I guess you should have mentioned the word YET after your love for Kinect. I am one of the people that received the one on day one and thinks that the Kinect is a must have. I think it is a smart move from Microsoft to have an option without Kinect so parents that buy this ONE (and don't care about the Kinect) do not have to cough up an extra 100$. If I look in my family that has about 10 kids under 16 we talk about 4 parents buying an Xbox one and I hear them say often I wish the Kinect was not included or at least optional and maybe I buy it later.... I think Microsoft is banking on those families and I think they are right. He'll, I can give the Kinect at the next birthday to one of their kids.

Microsoft learned the hard way (look at WP) fighting an uphill battle is not easy.... Game developers (or any developer) develops first for the big boys and they can't lose that battle again.

Microsoft has my blessing of selling Kinect separately because it's the smart thing to do

I do feel/understand your pain btw Sam but rest assured Microsoft it's a smart moving company the past two years and their products are FANTASTIC. I own most of them so I know what I am talking about :)

Problem is, it's only 6 months into what was a 10 year plan. And now we have no idea if Kinect will ever have true potential.

don't get it... with kinect attached to every system, then everyone was on the same level. devs could produce a game and everyone could play it. Look at the PS4's playroom...... requires the camera that you have to buy separatly. while not everyone may use the kinect (or have an insane level of paranoia about the NSA spying on you), it doesn't mean it's far from useless.

Every Kinect is on the Same level. Unlike the Xbox 360 (no hard drive or Kinect). Every Xbox One console has a Hard Drive built-in so Developers need not worry (If Customers want Kinect they'll get it later).
It's a tough move but I blame the "catastrophe" at E3 2013 (those exec's needed to be axed for the "poor announcement". This New Xbox excec have to correct those errors' before moving on to bigger and better announcements at E3 2014.
Now, let the Games begin.

They need apps that use the Kinect. Maybe not so much games but like fitness apps or an app to help some of us guys color code clothes better.lol

Kinect was unnecessary, it's just a gimmick. I'm a PS4 fan but I'm not interested in the Playstation Camera either. It's just not needed, end of story. 

The PS Camera is selling like crazy because gamers like to steam their games and have their face on screen. I suspect the Kinect will sell as well if not more well than the PS Camera.

Sam, I love ya but I think you are over analyzing this a bit. I was under the impression the Xbox with Kinect is still an option right?

Yes, the point is who's going to buy it. I can pull at least 30-40 players out of my 99 player friends list who doesn't even have a Kinect plugged in. They're furious because they would have purchased a day one WITHOUT Kinect. At least Deva knew if they produced a Kinect game that all consumers had one. Now l, less than 1/5 of users will own one after the holidays, GUARANTEED.

What makes you say that? That 1/5 statement seems way off. 70% of PS4 owners own an Eye, so why would owners of a superior peripheral be less likely to use it?

As a fellow day-one owner, I understand Sam's points and concerns but gotta agree with Mamacita. I love the Kinect, and for me voice controls are the must have feature. Many people are still going to want the premium version of the console with kinect, and others will upgrade from the cheaper version after they learn of the benefits of kinect. With 5 million consoles out there now, all with kinect, there is plenty of an install base for kinect titles to be profitable.

Unless you're like me and using voice controls and entertainment stuff is enough to justify it, there are no must have kinect games out there now. What this does is keep pressure on developers to deliver a game worth buying the kinect for. When that game is delivered, and eventually it will be, more people will buy it.

At this point MS is saying they would rather have more people buying an Xbox One without Kinect with the possibility of buying one at some point than less people buying the Xbox One with Kinect

Aside from saying the odd Xbox snap etc I never use the kinect and nothing has been released to make me use it :-/

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I'm ok with giving people the option to buy it with our without the Kinect. Make a compelling game for the Kinect and it will sell like the last one did, also you could bundle that game with the Kinect, MS again, is ahead of our time.

Again what's the point it has no relevance all you do is look like a complete dumbass jumpin around like a schizophrenic with a sugar rush lol

To you. I use Xbox Fitness, play Dance Central and use voice commands religiously. As soon as I walk in my house after work it starts with "Xbox On"

It's people like you that just plain slow down innovation. While your at it why invent the airplane? We where fine walking anywhere.

Did it miss the mark? Yes. Is it useless? Hell no. I have an absolute blast with the dancing and party games that the Kinect uses and so do my part guests.

Decisions like this take 18 months to 2 years to filter through. It would have been Balmer that planned it, not Satya. Which means Xbox execs knew at E3 2013...

They are going to have to offer some sorry of incentives for developers to come out with exclusive content for Kinect if they want any sorry of adoption. Or drop the price as an add on significantly. I hoped they wouldn't have done this, but I can understand why in the paranoid NSA state we are living in.

A true double edged sword. You make some good points. I got the day one edition, and probably don't get as much out of it as I could. But volume down is great once you get used to it. Recording is great but obviously that ability will be assigned to the buttons, which I like, as I have missed some great moments when it has not picked up my voice. Skype is a revolution with Kinect though. Kinect Fitness is also damn good. What MS needs to do is chuck some cash at several developers. Hold a Kinect development event and start splashing some cash on some promising ideas. The original one has been out for years. There must have been countless good ideas thrown about that just needed improved tech. Surely the Kinect 2 can now make some of them a reality. Child of Eden was critically well received, but didn't sell. Could they do an updated version of that? I would hate to see it die and become just something I speak at to alter the volume.

"I’m happy more folks will get an Xbox One because of the move, but I think Microsoft should have stuck to their guns a bit more and dragged consumers into the future. Kinect was the future."

IMHO, it isn't the future. If it was, more people would've warmed to it by now. They haven't. Dragging customers kicking and screaming doesn't always work.

"IMHO, it isn't the future. If it was, more people would've warmed to it by now. They haven't. Dragging customers kicking and screaming doesn't always work."

 

Couldn't the same have been said about tablets in 2009? After a decade of Microsoft pushing tablet PCs pretty much by themselves, consumers never warmed to the concept. Then the iPad came out in 2010 and now tablets are on the verge of outselling PCs on an annual basis. Kinect is the future and many people at MS know it is the future, but unfortunately Microsoft may not have what it takes to realize that future.

 

Six months ago Apple bought PrimeSense the creators of Kinect. It's likely they will integrate Siri with this sensor and beat Microsoft to integrating Kinect with Cortana. MS runs the risk once again of seeing the future but being unable to walk the path to get there. As a Microsoft fan, watching this play out once again is deeply disillusioning. They knew the importance of wearables with SPOT watch, they knew the importance of smartphones with Windows Mobile, they knew the importance of tablets with TabletPC/UMPC, they knew the importance of voice recognition with TellMe, they knew the importance of automotive integration with SYNC, they know the importance of 3D camera sensors with Kinect. After everything we've been through this past decade can you honestly say that Microsoft failing with a product means there is no market for it? Sadly Microsoft succeeding with an innovative product has become the exception to the rule.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz40vwcTGFo

"Neo, sooner or later you're going to realize just as I did that there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." - Morpheus speaking to the One

Well said, and exactly what I was thinking.  This just screems lack of vision, just to get buyers.  Look, not everyone can afford a $500 system, let alone two.  So I get the financial reasons.  But, the gamer in me is so pissed off by this move.

Voice commands are great as is Skype on it as well. Those who buy a Kinect-less version of the console are going to miss out and Microsoft is sure to improve it as time goes on. If they can't afford the extra $100 let them suffer with less features. I use the Kinect ALL the time and couldn't imagine going back to using an Xbox without it.

Considering that they had a problem with it that the NSA had to sort things out because rumors spread out saying that Microsoft watches you through the Xbox One Kinect.

It is ridiculous that that people have gotten so paranoid. Even if it were true. I could give a rats ass. They can watch me pick my nose and talk about sex. The NSA is being put in their place again. Lets move on.

I love the how people here seem to be okay with NSA data collection but not Google data collection.

A little too dramatic.  Yes, it will be up to Microsoft to make owning a Kinect compelling.  Still haven't bought an Xbox One yet, but I when I do, it will be with the Kinect.

You are really only saving $50.

Anyone with any sense just buys the titanfall bundle, regardless of whether or not they want the kinect.

Now if the xbox one with no kinect had titanfall, for sure $399 would be worth dumping the kinect.

The kinect survived the 360 without being included in all systems, so the same should happen here.

I rarely ever use the kinect, so honestly i wouldn't miss it.

Make it a $125 add on and let the people choose with their wallets if the kinect is to survive.

 

Sorry, no way I'd go without Kinect. Nothing like navigating the entire UI by voice, automatic sign in, chatting without a mix etc. OR "Xbox, record that" how on Earth could someone go without that?

Easy, by pressing the on button, the os signing me in and using the controller to move about the UI... Basically what we've been doing since the psx.

Not the same at all lol. Kinect auto signs in me and my girlfriends or even my brothers when they come over. Easier than finding our profiles and signing in & waiting for the UI to sign in then repeating 2-3 times.

I can turn my Xbox On from the kitchen while I'm cooking dinner with my hands full of food for me and my GF, then just say "Xbox Watch HGTV" and walaa in 15 seconds I turned it on and tuned.

And don't get me started. Game DVR interaction WITHOUT Kinect is horrid. Couldn't ever imagine playing with something snapped just to record.

Umm. That's why I wanted an Xbox and not a ps. Your point was irrelevant. All the ps has is more muscle. No innovation there.

Never owned a PoS. And why would I? I work fulltime, and though I consider myself a "core gamer" there are many nights where I come in from work I simply say "Xbox, on... Netflix. Profile 2.... select 1." while I'm in and out of the room, and while I unwind and unpack for the day. Never had to touch a controller, tell it to sign in or anything. Then of course while I'm playing Titanfall or Forza 5 I can shout out "Xbox, record that!" at epic moment or "Xbox, snap TV" when a game is gone. Even if these types of things were the only use ever for Kinect on Xbox One I wouldn't go without it. Otherwise it just seems... flat.

These things were all developed by Microsoft and will still be there in the future. In fact, if MS wants to make money selling stand-alone Kinects, they will continue to improve it's integration in the OS.

I think people like you have nothing to worry about with this move. People who still think there are great games just waiting to come out for Kinect if enough are sold are the ones who should be mad. MS has sold 25 million Kinects, and they think developers are holding out on all the great games until they sell a few more, and this ruins it.

I'm in the same boat TheStarstrider after having the Kinect I'm now spoiled. Voice commands are awesome. Nothing like ripping someone out of their titan and saying "Xbox record that". Or the OS navigation. Give me the Kinect any day.

I agree with you.

Besides, games like Just Dance, Sport Rivals, Zumba fitness are really cool and demand kinetic.

Have you tried fastfowarding a netflix movie on the contoller ? Using gestures on kinetic is so much faster and cool, skype is a must...

I think microsoft is going for both worlds, people that see kinetic important are still going to buy it.  I got my x1 for 449 with Forza, thats good enough for me compared to PS4.

Having X1 without kinetic was a good move, installed base is more important than a "vision", Windows Phone has a great vision but installed base is killing it.

Won't apple be late to that party? Microsoft has had Kinect for quite a few years now. And won't they be late to the tv party as well?

No, Microsoft has confirmed they are not a company to be trusted with home entertainment, its only a matter of time before they remove media features from the XBone ... time to look at Apple TV more seriously

Little over the top, but im pissed off at what Microsoft has done to the initial idea for the Xbox One, i want a product that has a company behind it that has an actual vision for their product... not one that will change it on a whim if enough people troll

Plus, like usual, Apple or some other company will get credit for the "innovation" of it. Everyone will forget what Microsoft tried to do and then blame them for being copycats when they come back to it.

Microsoft doesnt deserve the credit though, they bought the technology from someone and have completely squandered it. Let a company like Apple come in and show them how to truly believe in something you create. Microsoft is a lost puppy that keeps discovering cool things but then instead of picking them up and running with them, just pops a sqaut and shts all over them

MS have a bad track record in selling tech vision and then either not backing them properly or canning them before they've had the chance to take hold. This just happens too many times. In the end it means that people are less likely to be early adopters on future innovations and this is more likely to happen again. I wonder how long it will be before my windows phones will be sitting in the same dusty box as my Kinect and Zune HD...

that would be warner that killed HD DVD dureing CES after sony threw fat bags of cash at them. Got nothing on RT....... that is all MS.

The only thing holding me back from the Xbox one was the requirement of Xbox live for most basic app functionalities, but now that that's been eliminated, when I buy an Xbox this year it'll be a Kinect bundle. Don't need or want Gold, though. Never had a problem with Kinect or the price point.

A little more bummed now that I read this article. They could redeem themselves if they just come out with a compelling reason to drop the extra $100 on the Kinect. I do love Skype on it though, my family are all like how does your camera keep tracking you? That's crazy/creepy!

My Logitech cam on my PC tracks me if its enabled. Also it can record in the background if it detects motion. For a sense of security.

My family uses laptops for Skype. I personally have never been satisfied with PC webcam setups. Not nearly as satisfied as with new Kinect IMHO.

My only issue with Skype is one or the other as in the internet service I have or Skype itself. If I'm on it for a little while it starts to get bad and then everything is way out of wack. But I do enjoy my webcam. Its logitechs higher end one. Though.

That's good you found one that works. Does it also discern who the speaker is when more than one face and focus on that one? I've been on a Skype call on my XB One for over an hour with no issues

Can't really say on that as I'm the only one who uses it. Its funny though, I find myself moving my head around to watch it follow me haha.

God f'n damn it. Can this company ever follow through with what they say or try to push through something more than 3 weeks? This is exactly what is wrong with the Surface, Xbox Music and Video, Windows 8, etc.

They should never have dropped Kinect, they should have eaten the cost of a price drop, or get some good exclusives

"Microsoft looks willing to change their stance after vehemently defending it. That’s a flip-floppy attitude and one that doesn’t install faith in customers."

So sick of this.  If I am not hearing about how Microsoft sucks because they ignore their customers and won't give the market what it wants, I am hearing about how Microsoft sucks because they are reacting to the market in trying to give the market what it wants.

Smart companies realize that the customers, in part, decide how their product is going to be used and rather than fight that, they work with it.

dont undersatnd this either, MS's view for the xbone was complety wrong and out of touch.  What they are doing now is good for their customers and their brand.  Is simple as that, so waht they flip flop, they made a huge mistake that destroyed any momentum built from the xbox 360 and potentially falling behind by a larger margin down the road.  Companies made mistakes and they are owning up to it, if they are changing their stance from before, so what, companies change and decisions are made based the market. 

 

What this does now is focus on the games, the console with the better games and online experience will be top dog which it always should of been. 

BS, their initial view for the Xbox One was more closely related to Steam than consoles... a move in that direction would have been monumentally positive. Microsoft had an amazing concept, but zero backbone to see it through. From day one they screwed up the narrative of what they were trying to achieve, its why Microsoft will NEVER be as successful as Apple when it comes to hardware, they are too scared to have a real vision.

Agreed. The original vision was awesome. They could've used some adjustments but awesome nevertheless. Btw used game market=piracy which is why people cried about it so much on the XB1 launch. Yes it is.

You never own the game. You only have permission to use what is on that DVD.

I never understand why people think the current system is "DRM free" Disc based DRM is HUGELY restrictive, much more restrictive than the Digital DRM that was introduced by the original announcement. I hope the Xbox One bombs enough over the next two years that they are forced to start over and really give the Digital XBox a chance to show people what theyre missing by hanging onto the past so dearly.

While the ignorant portion of the gaming community remains the loudest console gaming is stuck in a rut

I agree 100% that Microsoft should have stuck to their guns and dragged people into the future. It's not like Xbox One's weren't selling and wouldn't continue selling. But yup, now developers are much much less likely to develop for it because why cut off your user base before your game even launches? Including Kinect with every Xbox was the best thing Microsoft could have done for it, taking it away, the worst, so sad. I'm not disappointed that I have mine, I'd buy it anyway. The voice commands work wonders. I only touch my controller if I'm playing a game. I don't have to touch my TV controller. Gosh people, so much greatness. You wanted the future of consoles right? Well good job, you just killed it. Maybe by the next gen everyone will be ready. Very disappointed.

I don't have the time to explain how terribly analized this situation is. No, not Microsoft's decision, the reaction toward it.
 

I don't think it's that they don't have faith in Kinect it's just that it was too expensive for most. What they should've done is found a better and cheaper way to build it and the Xbox SI they could sell it for less

Agreed!!! They will hurt kinect with this move. Developers will stop developing for kinect if some people don't have it... What's the point... Bad move MS

I don't understand why they didn't see this from the beginning. Kinect was dead the moment it was forced on the consumer at an extra $100 over PS4.

Good move by microsoft, bad move for trying to make it mandatory to purchase. 

I have the original and the new kinect, it isn't anything special to me.  The voice feature is "nice" to have, but not necessary.  Kinect should of been an option all along, give people the choice of having the camera, in the end, it may be beneficial as more people stream through twitch and having the camera and mic will be great, but it should of been a choice. 

After the years of having the original kinect, i dont see anything different from when i first got it.  The games are limited, the games arent that great and kinect is not a system seller.  On the xbone, same thing, kinect is not going to sell the console and clearly it hasn't.  Whatever "potential" kinect had, it would not be fulfilled, i dont expect a kinect game changing game, controllers will always be king. 

Whatever MS's vision was, it was not good.  It was bad of them to try to put drm and always on as mandatory while their competitor didnt do that.  Just out of touch view by MS and their executives and perhaps Mattrick's view. 

All the flippity floppity they have done, is for the good of xbox in the long-run, IMO.   

 

Maybe its the consumers and media that are out of touch. We say bring us the future and when we see the future we ask for the past back. Story of Microsoft's life these past couple of years. Are we truly ready?

Consumer out of touch?  Am i out of touch to not want restrictions on the games and not be foced with a camera peripheral when i can get a competitors product cheaper and just play games?  Im pretty sure im not out of touch nor the consumers.  When leaks were coming out that detailed MS's plans, most people didnt like it and shift their purchase to the ps4 and it did.  What MS is doing now and the start of this next gen clearly shows MS as out of touch. 

MS was out of touch to even think they were in a position to change the industry standard on gaming policies.  They paid for it and will continue to pay for it for at least the rest of this year.  What they are doig now is a start on the right path.   

This is no different when PS3 released $200 more than the xbox 360 because they thought they were in the position to sell the ps3 as a premium product with blu ray, after mountains of consoles in store, it only took them like 6 months to officially price drop the console. 

Just another fuckup from Microsoft, say whatever you want but its the truth. Time and time again Microsoft sets a goal, works on it and makes thousands (millions) of consumers invest on a product just to see Microsoft change their minds and trash their plans. I think their getting ready to sell the whole Xbox crap.

The kinect isn't dead..its a sale plan plus name any good fame GAMERS not causal players can play on Kinect... Kinect sports is a family fame not may people have families

I like the idea of Kinect and speaking to my Xbox and when I pick one up in will be the bundled version with Kinect. Microsoft needs to push developers to use the Kinect in their games, maybe offer discounts of some sorts for each game that does.

There is really nothing wrong with not including the Kinect. The only thing Microsoft needs to point out is the features you will be missing with out the Kinect. Market Kinect as an upgrade the opens more features, but the need to improve on the Kinect speech command. I say, put Cortana as an unlock feature if you buy Kinect. It would be cool if Cortana would answer when you ask her to watch TV, asking you what channel would you like.. Kinect is not a lost cause, developers who develops with Kinect in mind just need to work harder to make it compelling, a must have. With out Kinect, you lose features that allows your Xbox to feel complete. Its an upsetting decision, but they have to do something to compete. Also and this is a big one. Microsoft needs to push games 1089p, 60fps. I realm hope that DX12 will boost Xbox One

This article sounds like they're getting rid of Kinect all together. All they're doing is introduce a new SKU without the Kinect for $100 cheaper for those that want things á la carte. They will still be supporting it and will sell the Kinect stand alone. In fact, Phil Spencer hinted that the stand alone Kinect will cost more than $100. So getting in early and getting the package as an early adopter might be a blessing in disguise.

They need to allow for people who preordered the initial XBox One to receive a full refund for their purchase. The fact that there isnt a class action lawsuit against Microsoft for the XBone debacle is beyond surprising to me. The console they announced at e3 compared to the nerfed crap they actually released is night and day. I was promised something innovative and since its release theyve made the console worse and worse.

 

Xbox as a brand is done, time to abandon ship, just like Microsoft has done

Its basically a slightly improved XBox 360 that is way less powerful than the PS4. I preordered the XBone the first day it was available because i was promised an Xbox branded SteamBox, which offered digital sharing and digital access to all of my games without the need to take discs with me everywhere... what they released was a travesty compared to what they promised me.

You're full of shit. They didn't lower the price AND keep Kinect. They don't owe you a thing. They're introducing a new SKU WITHOUT Kinect. They can still buy it separately. It's the same thing Sony did (but from the get go).

They never delivered the console i was promised at e3... i got some garbage PS4 wannabe. Where is my digital familty share or digital games access? Still not an option, even though they promised they were looking in to ADDING those features... Oops, nope they just removed more

Your nothing but a troll. You can argue that the PS4 on paper is slightly more powerful, sure. But to say that the XB1 is "way less powerful" is an exaggeration and hyperbole at it's best. Games look nearly identical on both consoles regardless of what you or the rest of fud masters would have people believe.

Im a troll because Microsoft lied to me since last years e3 and it pisses me off? Sure. FUD is what ruined the console in the first place, if Microsoft wasnt run by a bunch of spineless rejects we would have a Steambox right now instead of a slightly updated XB360. Microsoft promised an innovative future with the Xbox One, a future i bought into... They have now 5 months later taken that future out back with a shotgun and went Old Yeller on it. Microsoft has completely screwed over its loyal customers who believed in their initial vision for a digital future...

Microsoft Killed it, because they backed down on something special because they were afraid of a bunch of internet trolls who never had any intention of buying the XB1 in the first place... i hope these mistakes bring Microsoft down about 1000 pegs so they can start acting more like Apple and believing in the things they create

Like how they stuck to their guns for never making an iPad Mini or a large screen iPhone? Before you know it, they will release a touch screen Mac.

Youre correct, they change their minds and ADD to their products, but they havent ever released something, did a complete 180 on it and the 5 months in removed another feature... THAT is the BS only seen at Microsoft. If they stopped believing in the XB1 (clearly they have) then scrap it. Try again, and this time maybe believe in your idea

MobileMe is a great example of an atrocious launch for an Apple product. It was such a monolithic failure on so many levels that they ultimately scrapped it altogether. When they kicked off iCloud, they used Microsoft and Azure to host it. iCloud is literally running on Windows. Removing digital sharing and turning the Kinect into an optional accessory is chump change in comparison to how bad that was. To this day, Apple has avoided web services like the plague. They also promised and never delivered an open standard for Facetime. Do you remember the PowerMac G4 Cube? Didn't think so. They abandoned that thing as quickly as they could. It just fell off the radar. This is hardly a complete reversal on the vision for Xbox One. It's just a slightly different path to get there. And let's face it - it's just a consumer product. Here is some light reading on MobileMe. http://gizmodo.com/5033128/mobileme-not-up-to-apples-standards-says-stev...

So they released a garbage product and scrapped it? Funny, Microsoft realeased a garbage product and are just making it worse. Id say Microsoft should scrap the XBone before it gets any worse.

Id challenge you to go watch the announcement for the Xbox One on May 21st, 2013 and tell me that the XBone were stuck with isnt a COMPLETE reversal... it is. When you release a garbage product you dont double down by making it worse

Clearly, many of those features were important to you. I'm sure that many others feel the same way. I bought a Day One on the first day that it was released for pre-order as well. To me, it was a cheap HTPC with a great back end, voice control, and an IR blaster. I also play games on it but I spent substantially more on a new HDMI receiver than I did the Xbox One. As it turns out, I also play Forza on it every once in awhile. I've probably bought 5 or 6 games for it but that's the one I go back to. My expectations weren't really off the charts though. I actually see Xbox One as an Azure connected terminal of sorts. I could see this or something like it being much more than a gaming system. Microsoft is very good at using their IP across their product stacks. But as with anything like this, it's baby steps. For me, it has been a great system but everyone has their own opinion.

I do agree with you. The listened to some Internet trolls who were going to find a way to have a problem with Microsoft no matter what.

Go with the PS4, Sony hasnt removed a single feature from the PS4 since its first announcement... Microsoft has done nothing but backtrack. By this time next year id be surprised if gaming was still a feature of Xbone

Wah wah... If the Kinect was worth it, there wouldn't be a backlash to help MS with the decision to remove the requirement. An always on, always connected camera and mic, even if you cover the camera and tape over the mic input, are huge turn offs for a lot of people. Kinect's power has and always will be in practical applications (fitness, fashion, projected 3d online meetings, etc). It will live on through 3rd party support on PC just as the previous iteration did. That or integrated within a Xbox TV set top box. It's just not for games.

Too many young kids grade 2-8 for example have Xbox360 with no migration path to XboxOne due to price at this time. The price must drop lets face facts sooner than later. 

 

To that extent, Kinnect is $99 extra and a distraction from the purpose of a game console. Parents can buy the kinnect accessory later making MS and retailers more $ later. This is business 101, the prior MS regime (win8/xboxOne) really was out of touch with it's audience.

Except people that buy the Kinectless version will find the dashboard and a lot of the features a pain in the ass to use and leave bad reviews, which doesn't help business in the long run.

as opposed to the many people that complain about commands are not working as well?

 

queue "it works flawlessly for me!"

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