Is the Kinect officially dead as a gaming device?
I’m serious, the answer is yes.
I can picture my editor shaking his head if I were to submit an editorial that was three letters long, so I should probably explain myself.
Remember when I talked about how developers weren’t exactly pleased that the Kinect was no longer a mandatory addition with the Xbox One? Here’s the reasoning for that: it guaranteed that every Xbox One owner also had a Kinect. There was fragmented market to deal with that we saw with the Xbox 360. You didn’t have to include “this will surely get people to buy a Kinect” as part of your game’s pitch, because people already owned one.
Now they don’t. Furthermore, the public has continued to say that they really don’t have any desire of owning one. A Kinect, that is; some have indicated that they’re now more likely to purchase an Xbox One.
This begs the question: if your target audience is happy about not having to buy a console peripheral, why should you bother making a game for said peripheral? Don’t get me wrong; I’m eager to see what Harmonix can pull off with Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved. I’m hopeful that someone at Microsoft can pull off a legitimate Kinect game. That hope is essentially blind optimism, though. Truth be told, if I didn’t own a Kinect, I’d be hard pressed to buy one for the sake of playing a game.
Using it to navigate the Xbox One’s interface, however, is entirely separate manner. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about games, and if the “premiere” Kinect studio can’t put out a successful title and suffers layoffs, then I think it’s safe to say that the Kinect is dead as a gaming device.