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Is Microsoft Killing the Kinect?

Will an Xbox One bundle without the Kinect kill the chances for developers to make original Kinect titles?
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

Microsoft announced recently that they will be releasing an Xbox One package for $100 cheaper than they are charging currently – but the system will not come with a Kinect. While is a good thing for those who were waiting to pick up the console cheaper, it is a bad thing to some. 

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Is Microsoft killing original Kinect titles?

According Zumba Fitness developer Zoë Mode, Microsoft unbundling the Kinect from the Xbox One “kills the chances of making an original Kinect title,” unless that title is a fitness or dance title. Speaking with Develop, studio head Paul Mottram also had concerns. He explained that while he understands the reasoning behind Microsoft removing the Kinect out of the Xbox One bundle, he feels sorry for Kinect developers who have “had the rug pulled from beneath them.” He explains:

“We’ve been closely involved with Microsoft over the last few years and I imagine this decision wasn’t taken lightly, but it’s understandable as they need to compete with the PS4 on price…However, whilst it wasn’t perfect, Kinect helped differentiate the platforms, which can only be a good thing.”

He continues:

“From a developer point of view it’s a shame, as it all but kills the chances of making an original Kinect title unless it is a major licensed Fitness or Dance product – and even those will suffer as it’s unlikely we’ll see Kinect 2 units even come close to the installed base of the original now. Even then it was a challenge.”
Mottram does have a point.

Now that the Kinect is no longer required, Mottram feels that not many developers will want to make games for a product that will not sell that well. He stated:

“I just feel sorry for those developers who had Kinect titles in development who’ve had the rug pulled from beneath them and may now stand little chance of seeing a return on their investment.”

Mottram stated that he hopes to see small developers come up for a “killer use” for the Kinect through the ID@Xbox program. 

The Xbox One standard edition without the Kinect releases June 9th. It will run at $399. 

“I just feel sorry for those developers who had Kinect titles in development who’ve had the rug pulled from beneath them and may now stand little chance of seeing a return on their investment.”

I have to agree with Mottram.

Now that the Kinect is not bundled with the Xbox One, I feel that fewer people will be buying it. I always had the feeling that Microsoft bundled the Kinect with the Xbox One to get more of them out there, and to make sure that people had Kinects. Now that you can have an Xbox One without a Kinect, many people will not bother to get one. I feel bad for developers making games for the Kinect right now, as their consumer base will likely drop now that people do not need a Kinect. 

I understand what Microsoft is doing. Now that the Xbox One is cheaper, they can truly compete with Sony, and I feel that Microsoft will soon start catching up with the PlayStation 4. However, the Kinect will likely suffer the same fate it did with the Xbox 360. Not many people will buy it, and those who do buy it will buy it for dancing and fitness games. All other types of games will suffer, and the Kinect will lose a lot of support. Unless Microsoft can come up with a solid reason to buy a Kinect, it will suffer.

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Avid gamer and all around geek for over 20 years