Studio behind Kinect-focused games responds to Kinect going optional for Xbox One

Dance Central and Fantasia developer Harmonix says, "It reinforces that we must continue to focus on building innovative, compelling, and well-designed motion experiences to motivate consumers to buy our games."

Harmonix, the studio currently making the Kinect-focused music game Fantasia: Music Evolved, has responded to Microsoft's decision today to make Kinect optional for Xbox One.

This move would be potentially detrimental for Fantasia, as it might mean there are fewer Xbox One consoles with Kinect in the wild, thus limiting the market opportunity for the game. Some Harmonix developers tweeted about their apparent displeasure for the decision, but the company has since released a statement that is much more positive about the news.

"As avid gamers, we're excited for fans to have more choices out there. As game makers, this platform change doesn't affect our strategy--it reinforces that we must continue to focus on building innovative, compelling, and well-designed motion experiences to motivate consumers to buy our games," Harmonix said in a statement.

Of course, this challenge is nothing new for Harmonix, which also created the Kinect-required Dance Central series for Xbox 360 where Kinect is also optional.

"We believe that tightly crafted motion games can be great, genre defining interactive experiences, as we've proven with the Dance Central franchise on Kinect for Xbox 360, and we're eager to prove it again with Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved this fall on both Xbox One and Xbox 360," the studio added.

Speaking with GameSpot earlier today, Xbox boss Yusuf Mehdi said that Microsoft made the decision to make Kinect optional for Xbox One "in conjunction with our development partners," but it sounds like Harmonix was not one of them. The new $399 Xbox One goes on sale June 9.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

71 comments
KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

if ms didnt do this, harmonix wouldnt have an x1 to develop for in the near future.

blackace
blackace

What developers are making Kinect games besides Rare and Harmonix? I could see if there were 12-15 developers making games for the unit, but there really aren't. I don't think it's a big deal. Gamers who care about Kinect Sports and Dance Central will just buy an XB1 with the Kinect in it. Other gamers who don't care, will buy the unbundled SKU. It's that simple.

EPaul
EPaul

I can taste the salt from those statements from here 

Veenox
Veenox

No vision, no money

xrizz1066
xrizz1066

Wonder how much or what M$ promised them to say this :-)

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

kinect was revealed to the world at the wrong time. It should have been revealed another 10 years from now when vr is gonna be the next big thing. Couple kinect with a vr headset and an omnidirectional treadmill and all you are missing is the sense of smell, taste, wind (could be easily implemented with subwoofers) and of course touch. Unfortunately kinect will probably be dead by the time all this stuff is possible to implement on a commercial level where literally everyone will be throwing their money down.


By releasing it too early they have released a gimmick which on paper sounds amazing but in practical use seems stupid because its so ahead of its time that the world isn't ready to fully utilize its potential.

pound-u
pound-u

Kinect has been around for several years now, and the fact that they are still producing shitty gimmicks is sad. No one should be surprised why no one wants a damn Kinect.

Zloth2
Zloth2

Is that statement meant for us or to help keep morale up in their own company?

RevLux
RevLux

I personally like the Xb1's Kinect though Microsoft has done a terrible job in implementing it even in their first party games.There are a few exceptions of course. Like Sports Rivals and the generally good quality voice functionality. They simply failed to convince enough gamers that the Kinect 2 was worth the extra $100 expense. I do feel that removing it now is a bad idea since it sends the wrong message to early adopters, like myself, and developers who may be working on Kinect games. I can only guess that they felt they had to remove it so that they could eliminate the price gap for them to become more competitive. Given that the XB1 is selling more than the 360 did in the same timeframe I just can't imagine why they felt this was the best course of action though.

PsychoChick966
PsychoChick966

Well, I've never heard of the game mentioned... but I can't imagine this will hurt it any at all.  If people are interested in the game, they'll buy the XboxOne with Kinect, simple as that.  I have no use for a Kinect, so when I eventually get around to buying the Xb1, it will be without.

danusty
danusty

Harmonix, I recommend to drop motion games all together

harndoogle
harndoogle

Ms should have just dropped the price by 100, taken the loss, and kept the kinect. Now you won't get much innovation out if it. Also, they should have thrown money at indies to create unique kinect experiences for live. They should still do that.

klugenbeel
klugenbeel

Problem with the Kinect...hardcore gamers don't like it or see it's use for the majority if not all the games they play. Kinect sold decently when it was part of a 200 dollar bundle...why, because it's the CASUAL gamers who get suckered into things like Kinect, the same reason they got suckered into 200-300 (depending on where in the life-cycle) dollar Wiis. The casual gamer, the people who would buy Kinect enabled/motion sensing devices, will not spend 400-500 dollars on it. But a 200 dollar Xbox 360 with Kinect sells like hot cakes. Maybe in a couple years when they can bring the price down, will you see those casual users swarm to the Xbox One with Kinect, but atm when you are talking 400-500 dollars for a console...only the hardcore gamers will spend that kind of money and those are the people who really don't care so much about Kinect.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Get to work on a new Dance Central already.

What's taking so long? Can't multitask?

chronoschris
chronoschris

Kinect always was a piece of trash as a game controller, don't know why they bother.

tomtutt
tomtutt

Even if the Kinect wasn't optional, there still wouldn't be any innovative or just games for it. Failure on M$ and devs part.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

They have a lot of work to do. But really if the Kinect was ever going to be something, that chance is still there, it will just happen a lot slower than it would with the Kinect bundled.

A great idea will catch on no matter where it comes from. I wish you the best of luck.

Drkr_Zen
Drkr_Zen

"It reinforces that we must continue to focus on building innovative, compelling, and well-designed motion experiences to motivate consumers to buy our games."


More like "start." You have to already be doing something to continue doing it... lol

jrcast84
jrcast84

Innovative Dance Central games?

Tigerbite2
Tigerbite2

I personally was glad they were forcing the Kinect.  I've enjoyed the extra game play features it brought about early on (but yes, the Kinect Only games still suck ass.)


Anything being developed in the future for Kinect will be half-assed and will continue to suck now, too bad.  I still enjoy the voice command features though.  :)

Lacerz
Lacerz

Remember the Xbox One E3 2013 reveal?  Yeah, that thing doesn't exist anymore.

Senor_Kami
Senor_Kami

I find it hard to buy that they're excited that come June, every day will see fewer and fewer XB1 owners that could play their game even if they wanted to.

delcidanddarth
delcidanddarth

For those spouting this is a great move by Microsoft, uhhhh, no. They didn't do this willingly, but were "forced" by the consumers. Instead, this is a huge win for consumers. Don't let a company tell you what you must have, you tell them.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@xrizz1066   Sounds like MS had to get harmonix back in line. 

The probably reduced the licensing fees down to a sweet song. 

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

That wouldn't of worked really, the consumers spoke about how they felt about kinect and it wasn't good. Also I am pretty sure the xbox divison doesn't really want to post to many losses given the fact there are those within the company whom aren't a big fan of getting involved in video games in the first place.

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

@harndoogle 

It would have cost them billions tho, not sure the people which really count the share holders would like that !

Blazen702
Blazen702

Over 20 million kinects sold last generation. This generation I'd never want to be without Kinect 2.0 now that I've used it. I walk into my room without Xbox and by habit start talking to my tv. "Xbox On" and "Xbox go to espn"

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Millions would disagree...literally.

Blazen702
Blazen702

I bet you've never used it with the X1. Now that I have it I can't imagine my tv without it.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Sec, my Titan is ready...

RevLux
RevLux

@Tigerbite2 Most of the activities in Sports Rivals play great imo. In fact, other than the shooting and football(soccer) segments the game is a great deal of fun. Still, I can't quite grasp why they went through such expense to include the Kinect 2 w/o lining up more Kinect based games. The voice commands work great but that could have easily been accomplished on much simpler, and cheaper, tech.


Either way they are really going to have to overhaul the o.s. to accommodate gamers who can't use the voice features to navigate. It's better than it was at launch but it is still a bit of a pain to get through the menus with the gamepad alone.

danusty
danusty

@Senor_Kami  that reminds me of when a classmate of mine (many years ago) got punched in the nose and he was saying, it didn't hurt! it didn't hurt! while he was crying

Blazen702
Blazen702

I think those people were the same that thought the iPhone was too expensive and didn't understand why it's not just a phone. It's called innovation. Thank god apple didn't listen to those who just wanted a phone to make calls and nothing else

RevLux
RevLux

@delcidanddarth It may be a "victory" for some consumers. Though I have to imagine many of the most vocal opponents of the Kinect still won't buy an XB1 even if it didn't include it.

danusty
danusty

@delcidanddarth  I keep trying to tell nintendo I don't want their tablet controller by not buying it.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

I think you're making a bigger deal than necessary. Most people don't use Cruise Control - yet you don't see them flip over a table in revolt when it's included in most new cars.

danusty
danusty

@flyincloud1116  LET'S DO THE FORK IN THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL!.......... LET'S DO THE FORK IN THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL! DING DINGDING DIDINDING DIDINDING! STOP! I LOST MY CONTACT......... FOUND IT!

realshooter305
realshooter305

@Sevenizz  what millions lmao yea vuz it came with the xbox yet my self included and most ppl i know turn it around 

Tigerbite2
Tigerbite2

@RevLux @Tigerbite2 I think the tennis and bowling play better on wii sports (and that was released 8 years ago.)  The jetski is boring.  Rock climbing is okay.  I about throw my leg out playing soccer, lol.  Then the shooting would be decent if it worked right other than just moving your hand towards the targets.


:[


I still enjoy yelling FIRE VOLLEY! in Ryse though ^_^

RevLux
RevLux

@danusty@delcidanddarth You do realize you don't have to use the tablet controller for most games...right? It is the same for the Kinect. I hear you say: "But I don't want to pay for anything I'm not going to use!" Though I find the argument that those are the only reasons why they refuse to buy a console to be more than a little disingenuous. At least for most of them.

danusty
danusty

@Sevenizz  when the xbox one becomes a car, then I'll start worrying about what you just said

Blazen702
Blazen702

Wow your trollness has no bounds.

pound-u
pound-u

@Sevenizz And yet, most of the games were crap, and you stupid 80% statistic is only possible because Microsoft forced Kinect on us. That number would be a lot smaller had their been an option without Kinect.

Blazen702
Blazen702

Kinect 1.0 sold over 30 million units. I'd be an unhappy gamer without my Kinect on my X1

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Except, Kinect 1.0 is the most successful peripheral in gaming history (minus additional controllers) and it has an 80% user rate on the One.

You're not very bright, are you.