The Kinect camera is an "unnecessary" add-on for the Xbox One and overall its inclusion is a "joke," according to industry veteran and longtime former Microsoft employee Peter Molyneux.
"I actually wish Kinect wasn't a requirement," Molyneux, who now runs his own indie studio 22Cans, told Edge. "It feels like an unnecessary add-on to me. Maybe it's because we're in England, and it doesn't really use the TV stuff, but it feels more and more like a joke."
Molyneux also said that the Kinect camera itself can be finicky.
"My son and I sit there saying random things at it, and it doesn't work," he said. "[Microsoft] could cost-reduce it [by removing Kinect]. I'm sure they're going to release an Xbox One without Kinect. It would be unthinkable that they wouldn't."
Molyneux's downtrodden outlook for the Kinect camera is somewhat of an about-face for the Fable creator. He was a strong supporter of the Kinect-enabled Project Milo prototype for Xbox 360 and didn't shy away from speaking optimistically about Kinect functionality for Fable: The Journey.
On Xbox 360, the Kinect camera was optional. But for the Xbox One, it's included with every system. Microsoft says this allows developers to create better games because they know Kinect will be there. It also is presumably the reason why the Xbox One carries a $100 premium over the PlayStation 4.
Microsoft has time and again said it has no plans to release the Xbox One without Kinect because the camera is "integral" to the complete package. Xbox executive Phil Harrison said last summer that in fact the Xbox One is Kinect. The two are fundamentally linked, he argues.
Also in Edge's feature, new Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said Microsoft is always looking for feedback from consumers, but dropping the Kinect requirement for Xbox One is "not the number one request for people." Instead, he says, it's 'Where are the great games?'"