The Kinect Is Dead. Long Live the Xbox One.

Posted by Colorwind (81 posts) -

Well done, games industry. We have another major piece of news two weeks running! This is going to be a short blog as ultimately my opinion on this story can be summed up in one word: Yay! However, for those who don’t know, Microsoft today announced that they will sell a version of the Xbox One without the Kinect and as such will drop the price to $399 from its previous $499. The Kinect itself will be sold on its own, should you want it later, and this brings the console on even ground with the PlayStation 4, which has been dominating it in sales. Microsoft also announced that its promotional sales and free games program, called Sales with Gold and Games with Gold respectively, will be making its way onto the Xbox One and apps like Netflix and Twitch will no longer require Xbox Live Gold.

All I can say is way to go, Phil Spencer, for going for the jugular. This has solved several problems the Xbox One has had in a way that doesn’t punish the consumer (except for maybe early adopters). The Kinect has been something that aside from entertainment apps and sheer novelty has been unnecessary to the Xbox One experience. In fact, when I went to my friend Rick’s house once and his cousin had brought his Xbox One, the Kinect just didn’t respond. He just used his controller for everything. The sad truth is that the Kinect just doesn’t work well and isn’t adding anything to the gaming experience. At this point, in terms of gaming, the only thing you would want the Kinect for is to stream on Twitch, which is cool but is definitely something that should be optional. Oh and the Games with Gold and apps thing is just icing on the cake.

So what do you think about this new Kinect-less Xbox One? Do you say good riddance or are you disappointed? Let me know in the comment section below and be sure to check out my personal blog,Colorwind’s Think Tank, for more gaming stuff such as blogs, my weekly article My Gaming Landscape, and lets play videos, as well as stuff on movies, music and more.

#1 Edited by DarthGumballs (194 posts) -

I love the Kinect, I think anyone buying an Xbox One without a Kinect is really missing out. It has made everything about gaming and entertainment better. I love how it logs people in as they enter the room, so if my girlfriend and I are going to play Powerstar Golf all we have to do is sit down on the couch, pick up a controller and we're good to go. No logging in, just pick up a controller and play.

I absolutely love voice commands. They're freaking awesome. I never use a controller to navigate anymore.Navigating with a controller is archaic, the modern way is either by touch or by voice. I also love the 'Xbox record that' and Twitch functions. I also enjoy using Skype with the Kinect and love the way the camera will zoom and follow you around a room.

I also use the Kinect quite a bit in games, especially in Madden for calling audibles.

The Kinect might not be for everyone, but I don't think anyone should write it off without using an Xbox One with a Kinect.

#2 Posted by Gum_Bercules (8466 posts) -

I do occasionally enjoy having a kinect. It is frustrating sometimes though. Even though I have it calibrated with my volume at max it will still sometimes not hear me when I'm watching TV and the volume is no where near that. So, it definitely needs to be fine tuned, but overall it's a nice feature. Revolutionary, not really. Necessary, no. I don't think it should add $100 to the price tag, but it's nice to have.

#3 Posted by BattleSpectre (6392 posts) -

The Kinect is far from dead, Microsoft still believe it is a necessary and core feature that will help shape up the Xbox One. Only reason I like the Kinect is for how easy it is to navigate the menus and I love it's voice-commands.

Now let's see if Microsoft put their money where their mouth is and actually use the Kinect in a great way for games, because judging by last-gens Kinect games I think it's safe to say it was a disaster.

#4 Edited by kingcrimson24 (479 posts) -

Why are you so happy about this ?

Kinect is awesome , and it can be used in many amazing ways , Voice commands and motion controls can be awesome , it can be used in very cool ways in horror games .

I will have kinect with my xbox one and I will help Microsoft to improve it .

it kinda makes me sad that some Hardcore gamers just want to sit and hold the controller and play Graphics ! a Next GEN experience must be more than just holding a controller and higher graphics !

and I believe Kinect has the potential to create the Real next gen experience

I agree that people should have the choice , and Microsoft made a good decision and it will boost Xbox one sales . But Kinect isn't dead .

#5 Edited by Master_Of_Fools (1373 posts) -

Anyone who says anything good about the Kinect 2.0 I cant take seriously. They were paid by Microsoft to say that stuff. Kinect is 1 of the things that is RUINING the gaming industry.

#6 Edited by donalbane (16368 posts) -

I predict Microsoft will release an as of yet unannounced

@Master_Of_Fools said:

Anyone who says anything good about the Kinect 2.0 I cant take seriously. They were paid by Microsoft to say that stuff. Kinect is 1 of the things that is RUINING the gaming industry.

I love voice commands. It's not a gaming thing for me, it's about alternative interfaces. I like choice. Voice, remote, controller, gesture.... choices are good.

#7 Edited by profanityVP (386 posts) -

the kinect for me hasn't added anything new to gameplay, i actually don't think i have any games that support it apart from like calling substitutes in nba 2k14 or screaming at zombies in dead rising, but as far as the console being an entertainment hub, i use the kinect alot for movies, turning down or up the volume, pausing and resuming etc,, also it logs me in automatically when i sit on the couch,

and skype with overseas friends is great, its really clear and easy to use,,

#8 Posted by WG_McFartypants (218 posts) -


After a statement like that, no one is worried if you take them seriously.

#9 Posted by iambatman7986 (501 posts) -

Personally I think they are backing down when the system is still selling. Their vision they sold me on is now gone. I originally didn't want kinect, but after using it, I see the appeal. Now no developer has a reason to utilize it so that vision is gone now and in stuck with what will probably end up being an obsolete peripheral. I can see MS patching it out if the non kinect version sells vastly better.

Now the One is the same price as PS4 which I'm not sure is really going to help considering it was 450 with kinect and Titanfall.

I love the One, but MS is looking very untrustworthy at the moment. They've lied about the vision from day zero.

#10 Edited by kingcrimson24 (479 posts) -

@iambatman7986: I loved kinect too and I think developers could use it in many new ways to improve the gaming experience .

but looks like Many Hardcore gamers just want to sit infront of TV , hold a controller and just play higher graphics and eat snack and cola ...

so Microsoft gave them the choice .

#11 Edited by iambatman7986 (501 posts) -

@kingcrimson24: They are giving the option which is going to divide the user base which makes developing games for kinect much less appealing. Include a feature for 5 million adopters, or ignore those 5 million, save money and time on Development, and cater to the people who don't have kinect. I see this happening a lot now. Maybe I'll be wrong, but history shows that non standard peripherals don't get 3rd party support and I question if MS will continue supporting it if the non kinect sku quickly outsells the kinect sku.

#12 Edited by brimmul777 (1274 posts) -

I don't have much use for the Kinect,sorry Microsoft.

#13 Posted by Colorwind (81 posts) -

@BattleSpectre: @kingcrimson24: @darthgumballs: A friend of mine's cousin brought his Xbox One over and when we tested the Kinect, it understood our commands only once. He even said that he never used the Kinect because it doesn't work. I know others have had better luck with the Kinect but something that's that finicky tech-wise should be optional. I know it's not dead, I'm just using the "Love Live The King" line here for effect. You can still buy the Kinect separately and I think I might after getting an Xbox One.

@iambatman7986: I don't think they lied about their vision. I think gamers have more or less rejected their vision as a whole. First with the Always Online stuff and now with the Kinect. Ultimately, I think Kinect would've been cool if it worked consistently but it doesn't. Therefore, you cut the dead weight for people who want to buy it but still offer it separately so the option is still there. Even if you did like the Kinect and wanted games to be different because of it, that wasn't what was happening. Developers weren't utilizing the Kinect other than for gimmicky reasons. The potential was definitely there but you can't force anyone to use something. I know Kinect development is going to decline because of this but it wasn't that high to begin with.

#14 Edited by BattleSpectre (6392 posts) -

@Colorwind: You and your friends must have really heavy accents lol. The Kinect understands my voice commands 95% of the time (the other 5% is because there's too much noise at the time when I try to use the voice-command, or I'm not loud enough).

#15 Edited by Colorwind (81 posts) -

@BattleSpectre: Nope. We don't have accents at all. We speak English clearly and it's all of our first language. I'm not the only one who has mentioned that the Kinect doesn't read them, despite having a clear speaking voice. The Kinect itself is just hit and miss. It works for some and doesn't for others. That's fine but it means that something that hit and miss should be optional.

#16 Posted by BattleSpectre (6392 posts) -

@Colorwind said:

@BattleSpectre: Nope. We don't have accents at all. We speak English clearly and it's all of our first language. I'm not the only one who has mentioned that the Kinect doesn't read them, despite having a clear speaking voice. The Kinect itself is just hit and miss. It works for some and doesn't for others. That's fine but it means that something that hit and miss should be optional.

I'm sorry but I have to disagree with you here mate, I think you're blowing this way out of proportion. I understand that some may have troubles but you're making it sound like it's a BIG problem. Do you have any proof, any sites that can confirm a percentage of people who have had a problem with the Kinect? Because I sure as hell can't.

Of course maybe you've heard of a few small incidents, but I wouldn't call the Kinect "hit and miss". Trust me I'd be the first one to shit on the Kinect if it was.

#17 Posted by Colorwind (81 posts) -

@BattleSpectre: I can't give you an actual statistic as no one has actually done a survey to see how reliable the Kinect is. I'm not saying it's a big problem but I am saying that it's a problem enough that it's less reliable than just using a controller. The big problem is that even though my friends and I couldn't get the Kinect to work, we had no problem playing games and navigating the menus without it.

That's the issue: it's not necessary. The Kinect doesn't add anything essential to the experience. The Kinect could be cool to have but it's not required. It's not fair to have to pay $100 dollars more for a peripheral that doesn't really add anything to the core experience. Sure, it does some cool things and maybe you can get it to work well enough that it's more reliable, but that's something that is optional.

Battlefield 4 doesn't play any differently on the Xbox One with Kinect than on the PS4 or PC. Neither does NBA 2k14 or Madden 25 or really any future games coming out because developers weren't going to develop their game with Kinect in mind aside from some gimmick. The same could actually be said about the PS4's touchpad but that isn't jacking the price up by $100.

#18 Posted by rrjim1 (918 posts) -

My Kinect works great when I talk correctly and separate the words. I hear a lot of people that run there words together, andtheyexpectKinecttounderstandthem.

#19 Posted by sukraj (23193 posts) -

I hardly ever use Kinect.

#20 Edited by Megavideogamer (5466 posts) -

Finally the Kinect is gone. I shall now get an Xbox one. I'm glad MS finally made the right decision.