Microsoft: "Xbox One is Kinect"

Corporate vice president Phil Harrison says Xbox One and Kinect are not separate systems, no plans to release console without the motion- and voice-control technology.

Microsoft has no plans to ever release an Xbox One without the Kinect, according to corporate vice president Phil Harrison. Speaking with CVG, Harrison said the next-generation platform has been designed from the ground up to include the Kinect as one of its main pillars.

"Xbox One is Kinect," Harrison said. "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."

Harrison said he has an Xbox One at home right now and explained that being able to say "Xbox on" and have the system boot up and load his profile is a "very magical experience." It's this kind of functionality, as well as the numerous games that leverage the technology, that Harrison said he envisions consumers gravitating towards.

"It makes you think about your relationship with technology in a slightly different way," Harrison said. "It's personal. It makes you think, 'I wish more devices would do this.'"

Microsoft confirmed this month that though every Xbox One system will come bundled with the Kinect, the system will function even if the motion- and voice-control technology is not plugged in.

The Xbox One launches in November for $500. Competitor Sony will debut the PlayStation 4 on November 15 for $400. Notably, the PS4 does not include a PlayStation Eye camera, which will be sold for $60 separately.

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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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4497 comments
Leeric420
Leeric420

Hhaha this article is now a classic

dreamcast900
dreamcast900

you need the kinect plug in all the time when you start the xbox one, i read it up in gameinformer #246

RockZillaX
RockZillaX

Bloody asshats aren't releasing Voice activation for Australia at launch.. yet The PS4 is.. I own a PC a 360 and a PS3.. I have both the PS4 and the Xbone on pre-order.. Im thinking very seriously of ending them both as Im not real happy with the crap about a $100 difference when the PS4 is $549 and the Xbone is $599 here in AU.. Im starting to think that life is way simpler and pretty decent with just Steam on my PC.. at least game prices vary according to quality in most cases..

osxgp
osxgp

The Kinect is an expensive paperweight that probably 80% of gamers don't want nor plan to get games that use it. To have it forced on me if I want a Xbone makes me want one even less. Microsoft should have told people they cant have it so they would want it.

theembalmer
theembalmer

thats great and all, but what if i get pissed off and throw my xbox one breaking it.  This means that even if i already have a kinect for the system. I'm stuck paying for another one

so_hai
so_hai

If they're synonymous as he believes, then why is there such as word as "Kinect".

sevencowsmoo
sevencowsmoo

I'm really excited for Kinect. It's bundled with every Xbox One, so every Xbox One game can take advantage of it. Even if it's just little extra things, it'll be awesome. I can't wait to see what ideas developers can come up with to utilize Kinect to add an additional layer to the gameplay.

dexxor245
dexxor245

Ooo saying "Xbox on" is a very magical experience? I don't know what you're smoking, Phil, but you need to stop smoking that sh*t. Speech recognition isn't new. I can go get a speech recognition software like Dragon and install it on a pc. I'll bet it does the same speech recognition features as the Xboner does. :P

oskuuu
oskuuu

but i don't want kinect... and x1 is kinect, so i don't want it. thanks for making this easy for me m$ :D

Algearond
Algearond

Still going with X1, BUT if this asshat thinks I am not getting rid of that spying paperweight they are including he is on something magical all right, I am thinking mushrooms.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Phil, you think saying "Xbox On" is magical? Man, you have really fallen.

ZEALOTzeus
ZEALOTzeus

An important and overlooked fact is mandatory kinect creates a standard, base for all games to work on.  Game developers don't have to worry if their game will be limited to kinect owners, gamers don't have to decide if they can afford additional hardware for one game.  A major value of consoles is you don't have to read the back and see if you have the necessary hardware to run a game.  If It says Xbox One, it'll play.  the autism in these forums is astounding.

jerusaelem
jerusaelem

They are really banking on that "people who enjoy talking to inanimate objects" market, aren't they? It's all too easy for me to imagine people like Phil Harrison just walking around their homes and yelling at all of their appliances and electronics like a deranged lunatic. 

"TOASTER! TOAST BAGEL!" 

"COFFEE MAKER! SLOWLY BREW COFFEE!"

"DAMMIT TOASTER! I MEANT ON THE BAGEL SETTING!"

"KITCHEN TRACK LIGHTING! CAST THUNDERBOLT ATTACK! KERRKRARKKEERSPOOOSH!" 

Remi2521
Remi2521

there are some dumb ass people on here. he said Kinect is part of the xbox one.   saying you want to play xbox one without it is like you want to learn algebra without variables. uh you cant they are all connected. trying to eliminate it will just leave you only understanding basic baby math.  addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, fractions too if its not to complicated for you.  

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

I'm curious how the more expensive console will do against Sony. In the current console generation, there is no clear winner. Of course early on the Xbox was doing much better than the PS3, but in the long run it didn't matter. So how will the cheaper price point impact the next console war? Will Sony take the early lead like Microsoft did with the 360 launch? The main question I guess, is was the 360 so successful initially because it launched a year earlier, or because it was cheaper?

kingliono
kingliono

Funny, as I read the comments I feel like I'm at work. The majority of people there also hate change.

e_boulanger
e_boulanger

For me, the real problem with the Kinect is that it makes the XBox One more expensive than the PS4.  Since I am not the kind of gamer to play games requiring a Kinect, I feel like I am paying too much for a useless peripheral.  If the price of the XBox One was the same than the PS4, I am sure nobody would complain and the only thing we would hear is that a lot of people would not use it.  So if Microsoft really want to force people to buy the Kinect with the XBox One, just drop the price to the same level of the PS4, and it will sell.

Ehggsz
Ehggsz

A paper weight may as well be one of the "pillars of the Xbox One".  For most adopters of the system, that is exactly what it will be.  The Kinect is no different to the Xbox One than it was to the Xbox 360, now that they reversed their stance on it's importance.

twztid13
twztid13

I guess Phil Harrison can buy all the Xbone's that everyone else will shun because of the stubborn policy of forcing motion control on gamers. They think this will win Wii's "blue ocean" adopters that want to move on. Those people are fine with what the Wii offers, and don't spend $500 on hardware. MS thinks the hardcore will follow once they get the Wii money, but that's not how it works. The early adopters usually decide what everyone else attaches on to (in some form), so if we're not into it, it won't last long enough to get to a price where "Wii owners looking to upgrade" will buy it (which isn't a legitimate market, anyway, imho).

Lil_Burrit0
Lil_Burrit0

So does that mean at Gamestop if someone goes to trade it in they will reply with "You need the Xbox and controller too."?

oskuuu
oskuuu

"very magical experience." yeah voice command is very magical....

ArronC07
ArronC07

Basically they've spent billions upon billions of dollars buying up and developing further Kinect even though it's just a glorified Eye-Toy. They have to push it because their investors are starting ask some difficult questions ....

Its just a shame that motion gaming came and went a few years back. 

CFritzRun
CFritzRun

Maybe it's just me, but if everyone griped about needing Kinect and you reversed your requisite policy, why not just understand that nobody wants it at all?  People aren't interested in paying for something when they don't want it.  If it's as much a part of the "ecosystem" as the controller is but isn't required like a controller is, then it really isn't part of the ecosystem, is it?  I just don't understand Microsoft anymore.

northArrow
northArrow

@sevencowsmoo You've already seen what they're going to do with it. Kinect is available right now, don't think for a minute a better camera is going to change its functionality

dreamcast900
dreamcast900

you need the kinect without it you can't play your xbox one

Algearond
Algearond

@jrabbit99 I don't think price will have anything to do with it, people will buy what they want, $100 won't stop them.

Zeran_kariashi
Zeran_kariashi

@twztid13 Exactly....the Wii already demonstrated that only a handful of niche genres really benefit from motion controls...of course, they discovered this by cramming it into literally EVERYTHING whether it needed to be there or not and pissed off a lot of people who came to buy a game machine, not a gimmicky toy. And unfortunately, due to Microsofts choice of motion method, it's even worse then the wii or move. It's the friggin Activator all over again, 10 years later, and only 15% increased accuracy in recognition.

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

@oskuuu I personally hate motion controls overall but your comment is naive. It's obvious he's not talking simply about voice controls.

The ability to walk into one's house, say two words, and have your media center boot up and recognize YOU specifically in is something straight out of the Jetson's. It's not just basic voice commands. This is the future people dreamed up back in the day.


I'm personally going for the ps4 initially (and will buy the X1 later on) but your comment screams blind fanboyism. Do I think there will be much practical use for all these voice features? No. But the notion that this is inching us closer to the day when we can walk in the house and tell it to fill the tub or make me a meal is intriguing.

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

@CFritzRun It'd be idiotic to throw away the hundreds of millions of dollars they spent on developing it at this point. It's not a simple change like allowing used games. That would be a huge HUGE waste of money for them to abandon the kinect before public consumers actually get to play around with it in their own home.

 X1 is going to sell out at launch regardless of whether they drop kinect now or not. This can lead to two things

 1. People find out that it's actually quite integral to their gaming and X1 experience. Consumer opinion of Kinect goes up and developers flock to incorporate it. Microsoft Wins

2. Everyone hates it and it goes unused. Microsoft can release a cheaper X1 next year that doesn't come with the kinect. Kinect becomes what the 360 kinect currently is. 

 OR

 They remove the Kinect. Kinect remains what it currently is for the 360. They have lost hundreds of millions of dollars and stomped out any potential of the Kinect being popular or well liked.

  There's no logical reason for them to abandon the kinect before X1 is even released. Please don't enter the business field because you don't have a grasp on how it works. You don't understand Microsoft because you don't understand basic business.

danusty
danusty

@CFritzRun they want to force people into it, when and if they see the competitor sell more because of being $100 cheaper, then they will release the none kinect xbox one for $400 as well

Marz10
Marz10

@CFritzRun Yeah, they can't have it both ways.  If the Kinect is not required to use the Xbone, then it's not really "one system" and you shouldn't have to own both.

sevencowsmoo
sevencowsmoo

@northArrow  The better camera won't be the main contributing factor, but its functionality will change. On 360 only a select group of people had/have and used/use Kinect. That's why the games are generally full Kinect or no Kinect. On the One, games that would traditionally be no Kinect can integrate some Kinect functionality to enhance gameplay, because everybody with a One has access to Kinect.

So you're right, I agree the better camera won't really impact the functionality. The fact that every Xbox One ships with one so every user has one however might be a significant contributing factor as to how developers create games based on the hardware that's available to users.

kingliono
kingliono

... for me. I think you forgot to add that to your sentence.

kingliono
kingliono

What exactly is bad change? I think this is a great change, I wouldn't have bought XB One without it. I can't wait to Skype while playing and watching my FFL team scoring live while watching a game. Its not like there are no other choices for consumers. Vote with your wallet.

northArrow
northArrow

@OldDirtyCR "Do I think there will be much practical use for all these voice features? No."

You readily admit that you don't think it has any practical use but jump all over him for thinking that it's not "magical"?

CFritzRun
CFritzRun

@OldDirtyCR @CFritzRun Thanks for your sage advise oh, wise one.  I actually do operate my own game business.  You know how I operate it?  By paying attention to the things my customers want.  You know what I can't get rid of right now?  The kinect sensors.  Microsoft wouldn't be in the position they're in if they listened to the response from the first one.  Look at Sony.  They advertised a motion system that was, by all means, better than the Kinect.  It didn't do well, so they abandoned it, more or less.  It isn't about what they can do now, it's what they should have done.

I guess what I'm saying is you clearly are along with Microsoft in your lack of foresight.  I suggest you not move into business because you clearly can't grasp what the majority of people want, which is the very foundation of any business.  Move along.

Also, you repeated yourself with your "two" reasons.  I wouldn't suggest English for you either.

Zeran_kariashi
Zeran_kariashi

@northArrow @OldDirtyCR It would be if it hadn't been done by several past systems already and flopped. There's hasn't been any innovation. The last 2 console gen have been about rehashing failed ideas from 1991-1993, and failing almost as badly, just with smaller price tags due to the involved tech being cheaper to make now.

Zeran_kariashi
Zeran_kariashi

@CFritzRun I went through the power glove (wii/move) and Activator (Kinect) days. I'm legitimately surprised they didn't leave that dead horse where it lay.


Nintendo and Sony both largely dropped motion, outside of a few niche titles where it proved beneficial (The Wii shifted over to accessories to use the wiimote as a classic controller (or older model Wii could use gamecube controllers). But X-box has continued to push Kinect even though every game made for it is $%#^.