Microsoft says a ‘sizable portion’ of Xbox One owners still use Kinect

While the gaming functionality of the Kinect is all but dead, Microsoft says that many still use the device as an interface tool.

While the gaming functionality of the Kinect is all but dead, Microsoft says that many still use the device as an interface tool.

Two years ago when the Xbox One was released, every console came with a Kinect. Many thought that the new updated version of the Kinect would be an integral part of the new console for the entirety of its life cycle and and Microsoft seemed determined to show the importance of the accessory. Jump forward to today, and now we see that the Kinect is essentially dead. Most versions of the Xbox One now no longer come bundled with a Kinect, but it is now sold as a separate entity instead. 

Despite the quick death of the Kinect in this console’s life cycle, Microsoft has recently stated that a large number of people who do own the Kinect still use it regularly. Mike Nichols, who is the Chief Marketing Officer for Xbox, spoke about the current use of the Kinect:

“I can say that the people with Kinect still make up a very, very sizable portion and that those people do use it quite frequently. Less for games, but a lot more for biometric sign-in and user interface.”

While the Kinect seems to be all but dead when it comes to gaming features, according to Nichols, many still use it to interact and move around their Xbox One dashboard. However, what will this look like when Xbox rolls out the new interface update this Fall? Nichols commented on that as well, and talked about the difficulties of designing and operating system for people who may or may not own a Kinect: 

“Now we’re not designing for everyone who has it or everyone doesn’t have it. We’re designing for a good chunk who have it and use it and some new customers who now have decided to get an Xbox One who don’t have a Kinect, at least not yet.”

Certain features, like gesture controls, have been completely removed from the new interface. Nichols claimed that hardly anyone used the feature, so there’s no real reason to keep designing as though they do.

It will be interesting to see how the Xbox team integrates the Kinect moving forward. They’re in a difficult situation right now, and are still trying to please both those who don’t own the Kinect and those who invested money in the once thought to be game-changing device. While the gaming functionality of the accessory is all but dead, interface functionalities will still be somewhat present, so at least the huge thing sitting under your TV will be getting some use rather than none. 

About the author

Logan Moore

Logan is currently a student at IUPUI in Indianapolis. When he's not playing games he's probably watching the Chicago Cubs.