Microsoft considered building Kinect directly into the Xbox One

"We actually built models of that," designer Carl Ledbetter says.

Microsoft considered making Kinect a permanent feature of the Xbox One by building it directly into the hardware itself. Xbox industrial designer Carl Ledbetter says in a new interview with Develop that, "We actually built models of that."

Microsoft would ultimately decide against this, in part because building Kinect directly into the Xbox One simply made the system too large.

"We pushed ourselves, can we put it all in one? Is that going to work? And the technology just isn't there yet. As soon as you have something much bigger than the Kinect sensor people don't want to put it by the TV, it's too big," Ledbetter said.

It's unclear how seriously Microsoft was about releasing an Xbox One with a non-removable Kinect. Microsoft built 75 Xbox One prototypes, including one that didn't have an disc drive, before settling on the model you see today.

Following fan feedback, Microsoft announced a $399 Xbox One model last week that does not include Kinect. You'll be able to buy the camera separately later this year, and the current $499 model with Kinect will remain on sale.

Microsoft maintains that Kinect remains an important part of the Xbox One's platform strategy. In fact, unbundling Kinect from Xbox One will actually lead to greater Kinect sales in the long run, according to Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
181 comments
bigtimemad
bigtimemad

I dont own an xbox one but i feel as though they shouldve never removed kinect and released it seperately. They shouldve just lowered the price to $399 and took the financial hit. As for building the kinect into the system that wouldve been weird if you needed to position the camera in some odd way for your living room and you had to move the whole damn system

turbojacket
turbojacket

Builds camera into system to watch all you do. Still has external power brick. LOLZ Microsoft.

mattress805
mattress805

If they built Kinect into xbox one you would need a dolly to take it to a friend's douse! Lol. That thing is alreadyhuge

xbonemeh
xbonemeh

You cant even fit your power brick and yet you tried to fit a cheap plastic camera? More lies after lies after lies.what is this the 90s where you have ugly power brick sticking out? Psssssssshhhh

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

I'd have LOVED to see what would have happened if MS had gone with built-in Kinect and no disc drive...  That would have ben HILARIOUS.

DEATH775
DEATH775

Hmm making it heavier and bigger than the competition sounds logical. Well done microsoft, which ever Executive Director made this decision has my 2 thumbs up ;)

nparks
nparks

Too bad they didn't build an extension cord prototype.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

MS lives in a fishbowl.

deadpen
deadpen

So I would have to had put the 80's vcr console right in front of my tv?

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

I just do not see the demand for the kinect that microsoft claims. I have been a gamer for years and almost all of my family and friends game. And not once has any of them expressed a huge desire for motion controls. 

SiLenTWarrior29
SiLenTWarrior29

Go for it microsofty. It's a win win situation always for you guys lol

visionedorange
visionedorange

I don't get it, nobody wants of gives a crap about this stupid gimmick, WHY are they SOOO determined to force this piece of junk down peoples throats??

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

It is good that Microsoft didn't do that Xboxes have always been large consoles so having the Xbox One any bigger and heavier would have hurt sales more. The Xbox one is the largest and heaviest home console, even just a tiny bit more that the original PS3 2006 launch model.

Since MS is going to launch Xbox one in Japan. Having a built in Kinect making the Xbox one larger would have made it an very tough sell in Japan.

deathstream
deathstream

He needs to stop talking about this stuff unless he is going to show off some pictures of the rejected ideas.

Darth_Aloysius
Darth_Aloysius

Good thing they didn't, else folks would be getting out the screwdrivers...

DrKill09
DrKill09

You REALLY wanted to take infrared pics of people's junk, didn't you? 

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

Fine with me as long as I can still use it for naked aerobics.

wizzzer_thy_133
wizzzer_thy_133

no one in their right mind will ever buy it, it's a logistical nightmare! 


to setup the "KinectBox" you would need to redesign everything in your room, and if the darn thing will break or malfunction it will be a real hasstle to fix.

beuneus12
beuneus12

How I'm gonna order pizza now without HAL?

northArrow
northArrow

It's sad how much time, effort and resources Microsoft has wasted on the Kinect, all of which would have been much better spent toward games instead of a marginally functional universal remote.

adroge1
adroge1

The Kinect is already built in to the system and it's spying on you right now. Everyone knows this. The whole fiasco around the Kinect being "removed" is just to distract you.

wizardjenkins
wizardjenkins

I thought we already knew this?

Could have sworn this was an article last year

buy2playz
buy2playz

Xbox oneless xbox on the way

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

Here we go again.  Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the living room.

mdign
mdign

Rumor has it that there was a prototype that had 4 hidden GPUs. That way they could activate in Quadfire SLi for unprecedented graphical performance, but they went with 2 instead because they wanted PC and PS4 gamers to feel relevant. 

mattcake
mattcake

Can't believe they even wasted time considering it. Why not build the controller into it as well, so we have to sit with a huge, hot, noisy console on our laps. Saves on heating bills!

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

totally not taking into account how people would have their consoles set up and whether the kinect would function properly. 



dribblesbarbax
dribblesbarbax

Ah sure, I'll take the bait Eddie. Nom nom nom. Kinect boooo. Nom nom.. I'm a big fanboy..Nom nom nom...My consoles the best. All done.

Any dessert left Eddie?

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Then they realized that they could just have an option of selling it separately for more money.

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

If there's one thing I learn from the movie, Meet the Robinson's, you keep moving forward. That's what MS did and it show they move on with Kinect.

djsimpson95
djsimpson95

Build a Kinect directly into an XB1 ? Now the NSA is gonna be watching us more than ever, even when we sleep and we can't tell whether they're watching or not. Or if not the NSA then probably the chinese hackers or whatever.

rasterror
rasterror

@jenovaschilld Well seeing that the original Kinect sold around 30 million I think that would out trump your family and friends.

mattress805
mattress805

It was Don Mattrick. Kinect was his baby and he thought it was gonna change the world. Now that he's gone, Kinect has been pushed to the backburner

Erebus
Erebus

@visionedorange  Because long rectangular objects slide so easily down the throat cavity, and Microsoft is well aware of this phenomenon. 

Crypt_mx
Crypt_mx

@northArrow  It's not wasted time, they now have kinect developed and it is a solid piece of tech, it's not marginally functional, it's fully functional. And MS has always been about the games this gen, last E3 was back to back games and they say this one will be the same. They are still putting a lot into new IP's and exclusives while also having the best camera/voice control on any console. Who know's what will be done with kinect? It's only a couple of months into the gen here, lets wait a couple of years before we denounce kinect as a universal remote, when it does a whole lot more...

surrealme
surrealme

@adroge1 I think your tinfoil hat is on a bit too tight. It's restricting blood flow to your brain.

grove12345
grove12345

@djsimpson95  its okay they both gather more information whenever you turn on your computer.... or use your phone...or your credit card....or walk around in the street. Kinect is the least of your problems you narrow minded children. 

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@rasterror @jenovaschilld  Cmon for 2 yrs straight if you wanted the largest sized hdd and a game it came in the kinect 299 bundle at most retail stores. I have a ton of friends who have pretty much said the same thing, " i bought that bundle because you get the big hdd, free game with kinect and really that was the only thing I saw in the stores." 

Gamesindustryinternational.com reported that very few kinect games were being sold and slim kinect owners were not using it on a daily basis. MS also made more profit on the slim kinect bundle and during holidays that was pretty much the only 360 you were going to find at brick and mortar retailers. Claiming kinect sold around 30 million is like Nintendo claiming Wii sports is one of the most sold games of all time.

here is a good article http://www.polygon.com/2014/2/17/5419464/microsoft-xbox-one-remove-kinect-pack-in, that sheds much better light.