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Stop Asking for an Xbox One Without Kinect

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Alright so maybe this is more of a pet peeve than a real “need to write” article, but I feel like there is a general misconception on the internet which I’m going to try and address here.

This week Microsoft came out with a statement which clarified that no, they will not release a version of the Xbox One which ships without their new and improved Kinect sensor.

To be specific, they said something like “Xbox One is Kinect. They are not separate systems. An Xbox One has chips, it has memory, it has Blu-ray, it has Kinect, it has a controller. These are all part of the platform ecosystem.” which is basically corporate jargon speak for ‘not going to happen’.

And while I’m sure a lot of ‘fans’ are online right now arguing how this is a step backwards for Microsoft, alienating an audience endowed with an income which couldn’t be stretched to accommodate the extra cost between an Xbox One and a PS4 (an extra cost which has been attributed to the Kinect by fans everywhere) – I have to say I find the whole thing quite silly really.

Sure, call me an Xbot, call me a Microsoft supporter – but I kind of get why they are bundling the Kinect with the Xbox, and why separating the two would create a rift between their games that they are desperately trying to avoid.

I mean, the whole point of the Xbox One is to take advantage of the Kinect technology which wasn’t properly utilised last time around – right?

Here Microsoft had this amazing camera, which worked about 50% of the time, only no one was making games for it. So when it comes time to make a new games console, they bundle the camera from the start, fix the issues that were causing it to work a little less reliably than they would like and then force developers to make game systems for it.

Sounds pretty good to me.

On the other hand, if you had the Kinect as a paid accessory like the PlayStation Eye is – you end up with the same problem this generation faces. An extremely powerful component of the systems design which gets wasted because nobody wants to develop features for it – because, ironically, they can’t be sure people will even have the technology to enjoy these extra features.

I mean, you wouldn’t ask for a Nintendo Wii without a Wii bar sensor would you?

Or a Wii U without the tablet control… ahh… actually I won’t use that as an example just yet.

We’re getting a bit far afield here, but I really just wanted to throw it out there to people – you don’t want an Xbox One without Kinect, that’s not what the Xbox One is. If you really hate the voice and video functionality that the Kinect brings to the table – and the impact this could have on next-gen gaming, then go ahead and buy a different system.

Because while some of us would like to try and build for the future, unfortunately there is always a vocal minority who seem quite content to stay right where they are.

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