news\ Aug 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Microsoft: 'Xbox One is Kinect'

Xbox One Kinect 2.0

Microsoft's Phil Harrison has reminded us, "Xbox One is Kinect."

You know, just in case you thought that recent changes to Microsoft's next-gen system might result in a Kinect-less SKU. Earlier this month, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One no longer requires the Kinect peripheral to be plugged in for the system to operate. This doesn't mean we should expect Microsoft to just abandon the Kinect though.

"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 told CVG.

"What we have shown really well at Gamescom is the magic of games that use Kinect. We have shown the power of voice control. I'm probably going to piss off your readers unintentionally when I say this; I have an Xbox One at home, and being able to walk in and say "Xbox on", and for the system to recognize me, launch and load my profile, and put my choices of content on the font page is a very magical experience. It makes you think about your relationship with technology in a slightly different way. It's personal. It makes you think, I wish more devices would do this."

Harrison went on to say, "We've heard from some of the developers who want to self-publish on our platform, who say they are particularly interested in exploring Kinect in very creative ways."

The Kinect certainly has potential, and definitely has a role in gaming, though it seems to have taken a backseat in Microsoft's quest to win over the "hardcore" gamers. And even when Microsoft has spoken about it, the Kinect has mostly been marketed as a side gadget, useful only for the system's multimedia tools and less for the games. Sure, there are games that will use it -- like Fantasia: Music Evolved and the recently announced Fighter Within -- but the jury is still out on the peripheral. Will it really revolutionize gaming like Microsoft envisioned the first Kinect doing? Or will it be more of the same -- dance games and exercise gimmicks?


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