The news that Microsoft would release an Xbox One without Kinect came both as a surprise and a non-shocker, depending on who you were. Analysts like Michael Pachter predicted a Kinectless Xbox One sometime in the future, while many consumers were shocked Microsoft would be willing to effectively “abandon” the Kinect after roughly 6 months into the console’s cycle. Despite the mixed feelings, Microsoft European Studios chief Phil Harrison felt that the removal was a good thing for consumers, saying it would lead to a “virtuous cycle”.
It’s a virtuous cycle for more developers to make and more consumers to play games
Speaking to TotalXbox, Harrison explained his reasoning. “Last week we made a very significant announcement about giving gamers a choice, a choice about how they want to enter the Xbox One ecosystem, by offering them a version of Xbox One both with and without Kinect. And fundamentally that is good for opening up the Xbox One ecosystem – the more consumers who buy Xbox One, it’s a virtuous cycle for more developers to make and more consumers to play games, and that is what we’re committed to achieving and continuing.”
However, he insisted that Microsoft was still committed to Kinect. “We remain committed to Kinect as the premium way to experience the Xbox One vision. Over 80 per cent of Kinect Xbox Ones are active, over 120 voice commands are issued per day [sic] on average by all users of the console, so when you have this premium experience that is where the Xbox One comes alive.”
As an example of how this might help gamers, Harrison talked about Titanfall and the release of ID@Xbox games coming to the Xbox One platform, such as Strike Suit Zero. “It’s great that we’re now seeing the triple-A blockbusters and the ID@Xbox games co-existing on our platform, which is exactly our vision,” he emphasized.