Microsoft defends pack-in Kinect for Xbox One

Senior Xbox director Albert Penello says "when people get to use it, I think it will be really obvious" why motion tech is included with every system.

Microsoft has defended its decision to include Kinect with every Xbox One. Senior director of product management and planning Albert Penello told GameSpot at PAX Prime today that once gamers experience what the new technology brings to the table, they will be won over.

Penello said, "It's easy to pick it apart when you haven't experienced it," adding that when gamers finally do try out the new motion-control technology, it will be "really obvious" why Microsoft chose to include it in every box. He said he has an Xbox One at home right now and explained that interacting with Kinect is one of the most impressive components of the entire Xbox One package.

Penello also spoke to the advantage Microsoft will have over competitor Sony, which will instead sell its PlayStation Eye separately for $60.

"Obviously I can't speak to what Sony's doing. I don't know what their plans are with their camera. But I think they had this with Move; we had it with Kinect versus Nintendo with the Wii. When you bundle it, you get more innovation, you get better and more interesting types of experiences," Penello said. "So I do think that bundling it in every console, and the fact that technology is so much more advanced than what anybody else is doing; yeah, I do think it is an advantage."

Penello also recalled the launch of the original Kinect, which he said failed to reach its full potential.

"When we launched the Kinect on Xbox 360, it came five years in on the platform; it was an accessory. And it did some really cool stuff. But I feel like it never reached its full potential," Penello said. "Because developers have to decide: does my customer have it? Who's going to have it? If I do this game, what percentage of users have it? And one of the things I think we've learned is that when you launch something as part of the console, it changes how it gets used."

The Xbox One launches in November for $500. Check back later for more from GameSpot's conversation with Penello.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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1543 comments
Algearond
Algearond

Am I getting an X1? Yep. Is the included Kinect going to be a paperweight unless I have to use it for a specific game then back to being a paperweight? Yep

obsequies
obsequies

there's a lot of psychology involved in trying to convince yourself it's worth 150 bucks

edt89
edt89

WTF do these idiots not understand? It's just like 3D television.  NO amount of fiddling around with the BS will make me believe that it is more conducive to my gaming experience.  I received a bundled kinect in my last xbox 360 and never once used the thing.  I'm seriously considering buying my first Playstation since the original instead of an XOne.  This level of stupidity is grating because I WANT to stick with Xbox, which I've loved for years now, but they are doing everything they possibly can to make sure that I don't purchase their product.  What if I sat and repeatedly threatened to murder their CEO 24/7?  They would REALLY not take that into account? REALLY?

ThaHarddude69
ThaHarddude69

I agree... kinect should not be bundled... but it is a great idea.  Ive been gaming sense the first home game system.  Pong.  An enjoy every gaming, and or entertainment option available.  Im not sure if you watch movies, or have small children.  But kinect does make it easier for smaller children to enjoy not just their games.  But also programing that is targeted towards them.  As my 6 year old grandson can simply turn on the tv and say xbox bing barney, or any other program that he likes to watch.  An yes, I said barney, because Im not up to speed on the latest children's programs.  I did say my grandson... lol  All this being said.  Kinect does have a place.  An I am glade that Microsoft is offering top notch technology.  But again, it should be an option like all the other systems that Microsoft offered.  lets game.

GT_ Thaharddude

iempire68
iempire68

Even Nintendo moved away from the motion control. They saw gamers were tired of the novelty. Kinect is an accessory and should be offered to gamers as just that. You want, go buy it. You have no interest in talking or waving your hands at your tv then pass on it. With the $100 price difference and the majority of gamers indifference to the kinect, it's not a benefit to them. But, given all the stupid things MS has done with the XB1, I'm not shocked they refuse to be reasonable. 

As for the developer argument, how much did developers bother to try to use this kinect? It has a camera and a mic. So you can motion to it or talk to it. Not very revolutionary. What incredible experience have you had with kinect? What incredible experience did MS offer for it? Got nothing here memorable. It sits on my tv collecting dust since about a month after buying the damn thing. So I'm not seeing or hearing anything incredible coming to kinect 2.0 either. It's the same shit(with a better camera) No reason gamers should to have to buy it.


gamespotpanayis
gamespotpanayis

@iempire68 It was very good for MSN Messenger chatting with family abroad... until MSN Messenegr was retired.  It may not seem much to you, but I welcome the improvement to HD and Skype.  I'm also looking forward to voice control of my videos and the quick launching of games.. sometimes it's the little things that are the most significant.  I think the voice aspect will be the most useful in games.. like "show me the world map", "Inventory", "Select squad one.".. I can see the voice working really well if the mic's are up to the job.. and from what I hear so far they really are.  Also like the idea of live avatar capture/creation from me.

DaveedT
DaveedT

...I don't understand how M$ cans use video calling as a selling point and vital feature of their console...people don't realize that every tv will be able to do video calls very soon without having to plug a console (hint: every tv will be "smart" soon).

And for the voice control, it's a software based thing, nothing to do with kinect of the hardware and the price tag, a dev could code the WiiU to use voice recognition if he want.

mrsarlacc
mrsarlacc

I think hardcore gamers might be killing the new xbox.  The Kinect is neat piece of technology that may not be pivotal to every game  but adds another level of interactivity.  The  current system for playing games, traditional controllers, will reach a limit..

bluefox755
bluefox755

@mrsarlacc Many of us disagree.  We don't want Kinect, and feel it should be an option as opposed to being forced into the package.  Controller is just fine with me, have no desire for motion controls.

rfuqua26
rfuqua26

@mrsarlacc i agree some people do forget that kids also play games lol and my kids love the kinect, and since everyone will have one i think we will see developers doing alot more with the kinect 2.0

Kevin75
Kevin75

@rfuqua26 @mrsarlacc I don't see developers doing more with Kinect outside the ones that Microsoft pays to implement Kinect. Here are my reasons.

1) Developers typically developer for multiple consoles and implementing Kinect would cost more time and money to do. Essentially it isn't cost effective for every company without some kickback given from Microsoft to do so.

2) Kinect games have to sell. If Kinect games don't sell at a reasonable rate developers won't develop for the Kinect. Given that a good majority of gamers are flat out against Kinect even the ones who have one will most likely never buy a Kinect Game.

Kingfish1982
Kingfish1982

Microsoft knows that if they sell the machine without Kinect they will fragment their base into haves and have-nots and then developers basically just won't use it.  And also the last machine to pack in motion controls, the Wii, went on to sell over a 100 million...

vishisluv7
vishisluv7

The NSA asks that you please place your Kinect to cover the widest area of your home for surveil..safety sake.

M$ is in bed with the NSA as we all now know, paid millions for data. If you got nothing to hide, then you should allow a Kinect to watch you right?

ThaHarddude69
ThaHarddude69

@vishisluv7 As much as I like microsoft... This is the one point that I agree on.  Its sad, but we will have to disconnect the unit for any privacy.  That being said, if you have a smart phone.  Then the NSA does not care if you get an xbox.  They are tracking you and all of your daily moves via your gps.  So if your worried about that as your reasoning for not getting an xbox one.  You might want to give up your smart phones as well folks.  Because turning your G.P.S. off only stops you, and your friends from tracking your location.  But not those that want to know... Real talk.

lostn
lostn

1. Don't care about e-commerce.

2. A good developer can detect your stress levels based on how you play and how often you die.

3. Don't know how airborn trash is relevant to Xbox One function. These sound like things people managed to do with the Kinect when not hooked to the console. I'm more interested in what you can do with the console.

4. How? More detail?

5. How? It's a camera pointed at you. How do you stream your gameplay in 3D? Plus, 3D is irrelevant and MS have not even said if they will be supporting it.

6. So far nothing you have suggested justifies $100 to me.

7. Those things have nothing to do with the Xbox. It's not an argument for why it should be included with the Xbox. They should buy it separately and play around with those things. Leave Xbox gamers to choose whether they want it.

Nothing you suggested could not be done if the Kinect was sold separately. Engineers and students are going to find things to do with this whether you own a Kinect or not. So why does it need to be packed in?

Dieknochenblume
Dieknochenblume

A company defends their product and stand by their decision. ZOMG!! Sounds llike a job for the star news editor!

DigiRave
DigiRave

So MS chooses to completely dis-acknowledge the real reason people are concerned about it being built in - PRIVACY- and tell us that we are actually concerned about it's performance. Great job at telling me what i'm actually concerned about, MS, and great job MS at side-stepping the issue - THATs what's going to cost you customers.

ThaHarddude69
ThaHarddude69

@DigiRave So true...  I could not agree more.  As much as I like microsoft... This is the one point that I agree on.  Its sad, but we will have to disconnect the unit for any privacy.  That being said, if you have a smart phone.  Then the NSA does not care if you get an xbox.  They are tracking you and all of your daily moves via your gps.  So if your worried about that as your reasoning for not getting an xbox one.  You might want to give up your smart phones as well folks.  Because turning your G.P.S. off only stops you, and your friends from tracking your location.  But not those that want to know... Real talk.

Kiaininja
Kiaininja

This mandatory Kinect stance by MS will just force developers that doesn't want to waste time and money on Kinect to make games exclusively for the PS4 and PC. Sure people can bring up how Wii succeeded with its gimmick motion controller but Nintendo also ended up pushing away many 3rd party developers that didn't want to deal with the gimmick which the current Wii-U is reaping it's consequences.

gamespotpanayis
gamespotpanayis

@Kiaininja Or they could just not include functionality for the Kinect.  I don't think it's mandatory to include Kinect functionality in the games, although I'd be surprised if first party games didn't at least include Kinect controls like saying "Save Game [before I die horribly!]" or "Quit game now [because I'm too embarrased about my score to stick around in this multiplayer lobby]"..

ken4062
ken4062

They already have videos of latency issues with it. Its the same old Kinect but slightly upgraded.