The negative side of an Xbox One without Kinect
It’s always interesting to see how the opinion of breaking news changes a couple of days after the fact. In the case of Microsoft’s announcement that they’re selling the Xbox One without Kinect, the initial reaction seemed to be nothing but positive. The console was cheaper, the worries about an always-on camera were gone, and people could get excited about the games.
It’s not all sunshine and ponies, though.
First and foremost, one of the biggest issues with the Kinect on the 360 was that everyone didn’t own one. If you’re trying to invest time and money into a budget for a Kinect game with a guarantee that you’re selling a product to a market that can’t even play it in the first place, people might say you’re in a losing situation. This was a scenario that was going to be avoided on the Xbox One; everybody owned a Kinect with their system, so the marketplace wasn’t fragmented into two separate groups.
That’s not the case anymore and some developers aren’t exactly happy about it.
Well then. We WERE interested in doing a Kinect game.— Phil Tibitoski (@PTibz) May 13, 2014
Oh, I can get an Xbox One without kinect? Cool. Guess I'm getting an Xbox One. Presumably that hardware is dead 3rd party-wise now— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) May 13, 2014
That last quote has the most impact: why on Earth would a third party developer have the slightest interest in developing for Kinect now unless they're going to unleash a guaranteed smash hit?
What's more interesting, however, have been some of the reactions from gamers throughout the past couple of days. I've seen examples of the following:
- People asking how they can snap without voice recognition
- People asking how they can record in-game footage without voice recognition
- What does this mean for the future of the system's OS?
- Is this the end of good Kinect games?
- Is the Kinect just a companion device?
- Is mayonnaise an instrument?
At the end of the day, the difference of sales between the two Xbox One SKUs will write the future of the Kinect. For now, we just have to look at both sides of the equation: while some are thrilled they can pick up their $399 Xbox One, others aren't happy that a vision Microsoft sold to them is pretty much dead in the water.
For what it's worth, this is my favorite comment regarding Kinect based games: