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#1 Audioboxer

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:10

The Xbox One has been on the market in North America for three months. Microsoft has failed to prove the worth of the Kinect hardware, and there are no concrete release dates for experiences that will justify its costs.

 

The Kinect for the Xbox One is a sophisticated, expensive piece of equipment that adds very little to the act of playing games. I'm able to get voice commands to work around 80 percent of the time, but my wife and children have much worse luck.
 
It doesn't help that your commands have to be oddly specific, to the point where learning the syntax needed to get the system to do anything requires either a bit of memorization or reading the prompts on the screen, at which point you would save both time and effort by simply using a controller.
 
The use of the Kinect for navigation and voice commands is limited and often frustrating, but the lack of games that use the hardware in any compelling way is just as much of a shame. There are a few gimmicks in games here and there, but Microsoft also packages in a headset with every Xbox One. The use of a sophisticated 3D camera with infrared capabilities and an array of microphones for voice commands is an expensive, and needless, form of overkill.

 

 

Anecdotal evidence from the Polygon water cooler suggests that the Kinect may be one of the most hated pieces of equipment in current use, especially among spouses.

 

The common defense of the Kinect is that developers wouldn't support it unless it was forced on consumers. This assumes that a fragmented user base would cause a low level of support from the industry.
 
That attitude is presumptuous and consumer-hostile. Why not have Microsoft and developers create something that compels people to pick up the hardware first, and then see how well it does? Pushing a product on the public with the hope that it will be useful once we have it is a cruel inversion of how product adoption should be handled.
 
The forced pack-in proves something we already knew at the beginning of this generation: Almost no one would want to buy the Kinect separately if they were given the choice.

 

 

Allow players who like the unit to purchase one separately if they'd like, but let's stop pretending that developers are going to jump back on board the motion control train, or that the expensive piece of hardware is required to accept voice commands that may or may not work.

 

 

Would most people buy a $100 Kinect along with the system? Absolutely not. They have one because they don't have a choice, and that's a brutish way to build a product.

 

The Kinect adds cost and frustration, and at this point there's nothing on the horizon that will make it more attractive. Microsoft is charging every player for a feature they may not want, even if drastically improved. It's time to make the Kinect a peripheral, not a pack-in.

 

More @ http://www.polygon.c...-kinect-pack-in

 

A bit long winded, but if MS had listened to the consumer around E3 they'd of heard this kind of chatter loud and clear. People wanted price parity with the PS4, MS essentially told us Kinect can't make that happen, people get upset and ask for it to be optional.

 

The sales figures would probably not be what they are just now with a $399 launch, and the article does make a good point in that of what exactly do XB1 owners have right now that justifies Kinect? Pretty much only voice commands.

 

You can argue the sales effect of resolution/FPS differences, and have a point in arguing it not meaning that much, but pricing is one area that's pretty much outright hurting MS.




#2 Andrew G.

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:30

Been saying this since the beginning. I haven't even taken mine out the box, I have zero reason to hook it up. Wish they'd allow an option to disable the notification when it's not plugged in while on the subject. Absolutely mind boggling they didn't have a game to showcase it at launch either.

 

Surprised this article came from Polygon too tbh, especially considering who is on their team.



#3 GotBored

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:32

Voice commands could be easily implemented on any basic microphone array, you could even have had it built into the system or controller.

 

The kinect main purpose is the hands-free control / gesture controls in the OS and in games. (Not sure how many use this feature though)

Microsoft took the gamble and it didn't pay off, calling it a peripheral or part of the system really makes no difference.



#4 OP Audioboxer

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:34

Been saying this since the beginning. I haven't even taken mine out the box, I have zero reason to hook it up. Wish they'd allow an option to disable the notification when it's not plugged in while on the subject. Absolutely mind boggling they didn't have a game to showcase it at launch either.

 

Surprised this article came from Polygon too tbh, especially considering who is on their team.

 

It's Ben Kuchera, he's probably just wanting a load of comments/attentions/arguments. Shame his history does taint him, as he does make some good points here.

 

However, I think even some of the strongest MS fans could concede to some of the arguments here... Not launching with Kinect Sports to showcase Kinect 2 was a bad move, and then we'll do a 180 right back to the price argument again.



#5 +Audien

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:35

I don't understand why they don't create just a small VOIP-style microphone (very small round dome) that can put on the coffee table so that it picks up voice commands better.  It would be such a simple solution.

 

That still doesn't solve Kinect's inability to recognise me 50% of the time but it would make the more voice commands work more reliably which would help build a lot of trust in the system.



#6 trooper11

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:38

I thought you guys didnt follow Polygon for news?  Oh well, I'm sure this one was an exception.

 

Well it was inevitable that people would start writing stories about this.  This topic has been discussed over and over since the first Kinect was released.  Now that Sony has a sales lead, people are trying to come out and claim that they know why the X1 is doing so poorly and what they must do to fix it.  Everyone has their own theory.

 

I really dont see the point in rehashing the same old arugments, so I wont, and I would suggest everyone consider that before replying.

 

What I will say is this:

 

MS went into this next gen launch knowing that they would be selling at a $100 premium.  They know that the margin is enough to mean people could pass it up in favor of the ps4.  So they felt they needed to make Kinect a part of the Xbox platform even if that ment a higher price.  We dont know precisely why, but I get the feeling they did it as something they could build on to sell the whole system.

 

So here is the bottom line.  Regardless of whether you hate kinect or not, the reality is that no one would care if MS matched Sony's price.  So MS has three choices:

 

1. Wait it out as long as possible and then just lower the price to match Sony, no matter the cost to them.

 

2.  Make the cut asap, again, taking the financial hit

 

3. Drop Kinect entirely

 

If MS was aware of the issues they would have in terms of price against Sony at launch, its possible they have an internal target sales wise that they are happy to live with until they can safely lower the console price without costing them anything or a very small amount. 



#7 mram

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:39

Agree with most of this.  I like the idea of a Kinect, and I didn't blame MS when I bought a kinect for my 360 as an addon.  However, with no good game support, and limited use in a cramped room (lets be realistic here, it has some stringent requirements) I can't bring myself to buy a XBone with a bundled Kinect when no games I would play actually use the Kinect, and the overall package expensive.  I mean, it would be one thing if the XBone had full support of 360 games AND ALSO the kinect, that would be a good compromise.  But no.  I have to get the unit, buy 60$ games, multiple controllers again, and have an eyeball staring at me reminding me just how lighter my wallet is.  

 

I would happily give up the ability to control my XBone with my voice for a $100 cheaper purchase.  It is precisely that amount that is tipping me over the edge on not buying it.  I can afford to wait, especially given that my kids have maybe 1 or 2 games they really care about for it.

 

I get that MS is investing in the XBone for the "long game" meaning that in two years or so we'll have the games, we'll have the infrastructure, and all the problems will be fixed and we'll look back on this and laugh ... but I can't help but feel that MS is doing the same underhanded boneheaded bundling tactics that got them declared a monopoly before.  I didn't care for TV integration, and I didn't care for an eyeball staring at me. The fact that the XBone won't control my DVR makes that whole concept really rather stupid.  Feels like Windows all over again, this time the bloatware that came with my great machine is actually supplied by the vendor.

 

But on topic here I'll go on record to say I don't have an XBone, and I would if it were sold without Kinect.  I'd appreciate if they took out the TV tuner integration too.  I can't imagine anyone who'd like to "snap" multi screen bits while they're playing a game just so the screen is smaller, or watch a super small TV. 

 

The whole package really makes me go "um, what?  I just want to play freaking games here."



#8 +astropheed

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:43

It's Ben Kuchera, he's probably just wanting a load of comments/attentions/arguments. Shame his history does taint him, as he does make some good points here.

 

However, I think even some of the strongest MS fans could concede to some of the arguments here... Not launching with Kinect Sports to showcase Kinect 2 was a bad move, and then we'll do a 180 right back to the price argument again.

 

I'm not tainted. I agree with most things that Ben Kuchera says. This too.



#9 trooper11

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:44

But on topic here I'll go on record to say I don't have an XBone, and I would if it were sold without Kinect.  I'd appreciate if they took out the TV tuner integration too.  I can't imagine anyone who'd like to "snap" multi screen bits while they're playing a game just so the screen is smaller, or watch a super small TV. 

 

The whole package really makes me go "um, what?  I just want to play freaking games here."

 

 

I get wanting an X1 without Kinect, but why does the TV integration harm you if you arent using it?

 

This is running into another old argument about whether a console is allowed to offer features beyond the sole purpose of gaming.  I would say any feature that does not impact your ability to just play games should be ok.



#10 Andrew G.

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:51

I thought you guys didnt follow Polygon for news?  Oh well, I'm sure this one was an exception.

 

Well it was inevitable that people would start writing stories about this.  This topic has been discussed over and over since the first Kinect was released.  Now that Sony has a sales lead, people are trying to come out and claim that they know why the X1 is doing so poorly and what they must do to fix it.  Everyone has their own theory.

 

I really dont see the point in rehashing the same old arugments, so I wont, and I would suggest everyone consider that before replying.

 

What I will say is this:

 

MS went into this next gen launch knowing that they would be selling at a $100 premium.  They know that the margin is enough to mean people could pass it up in favor of the ps4.  So they felt they needed to make Kinect a part of the Xbox platform even if that ment a higher price.  We dont know precisely why, but I get the feeling they did it as something they could build on to sell the whole system.

 

So here is the bottom line.  Regardless of whether you hate kinect or not, the reality is that no one would care if MS matched Sony's price.  So MS has three choices:

 

1. Wait it out as long as possible and then just lower the price to match Sony, no matter the cost to them.

 

2.  Make the cut asap, again, taking the financial hit

 

3. Drop Kinect entirely

 

If MS was aware of the issues they would have in terms of price against Sony at launch, its possible they have an internal target sales wise that they are happy to live with until they can safely lower the console price without costing them anything or a very small amount. 

 

Just so you don't lump me in with the rest, I could dig up countless threads circa-2009/10 where I was fully behind Kinect 1 and show you the "discussions" AB and I had over it vs Move. I was all for the peripheral once upon a time, so I haven't got a vendetta against it just because of X1's 180s or the last year's performance from MS. I just truly believe they are beating a dead horse with it now and they'll never get the reception they want. (and just FTR, my thoughts on Move and the DS4 lightbar are the same).

 

To counter your first points though (albeit we've been over it before); MS cut the price and then Sony cuts the PS4 price. It's a war they can't really win without removing Kinect. The disadvantage for Sony of course is they aren't getting PS4 Eye/Camera into people's homes with that strategy either.

 

I've read the argument that Kinect 2 isn't using the same strategy as Kinect 1 where they'll develop full AAA games for it, but instead it'll just enchance games in small ways. That equally sounds half assed and it's not going to make people fall in love with it. You either pump millions into it to make the most of it, or dump it. Just my 2 cents.

 

As for Polygon, I don't visit their site unless they have exclusive news first. Absolutely despise their writers (as well as Verge's), along with Kotaku and their disgusting click bait. But being mod I need to put personal opinions aside and source things for you guys from time to time :p



#11 +astropheed

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:53

This is running into another old argument about whether a console is allowed to offer features beyond the sole purpose of gaming.  I would say any feature that does not impact your ability to just play games should be ok.

 

I think any feature that exists outside of enhancing a gaming experience on a game console is a wasted feature and only adds unnecessary costs. In almost all cases there is already another system that handles 'Feature XYZ' better, and you probably already own it.

 

Supports a Media Center, Voice Commands, uPnP, YouTube, Social Integration you say? Where you try to sell benefits and features I'm trying to justify unessential costs. Just give me damn gaming platform. I seriously miss the days of putting a game in, turning the system on and then *bam*, you're playing that game! I have a PC for basically everything else.



#12 OP Audioboxer

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:53

I thought you guys didnt follow Polygon for news?  Oh well, I'm sure this one was an exception.

 

Well it was inevitable that people would start writing stories about this.  This topic has been discussed over and over since the first Kinect was released.  Now that Sony has a sales lead, people are trying to come out and claim that they know why the X1 is doing so poorly and what they must do to fix it.  Everyone has their own theory.

 

I really dont see the point in rehashing the same old arugments, so I wont, and I would suggest everyone consider that before replying.

 

What I will say is this:

 

MS went into this next gen launch knowing that they would be selling at a $100 premium.  They know that the margin is enough to mean people could pass it up in favor of the ps4.  So they felt they needed to make Kinect a part of the Xbox platform even if that ment a higher price.  We dont know precisely why, but I get the feeling they did it as something they could build on to sell the whole system.

 

So here is the bottom line.  Regardless of whether you hate kinect or not, the reality is that no one would care if MS matched Sony's price.  So MS has three choices:

 

1. Wait it out as long as possible and then just lower the price to match Sony, no matter the cost to them.

 

2.  Make the cut asap, again, taking the financial hit

 

3. Drop Kinect entirely

 

If MS was aware of the issues they would have in terms of price against Sony at launch, its possible they have an internal target sales wise that they are happy to live with until they can safely lower the console price without costing them anything or a very small amount. 

 

This topic isn't solely about Kinects relevance to gaming, so what we are discussing today isn't really the same as back then. Kinect 1 wasn't bundled with hardware, it was obviously standalone, and with that came no inflation to the Xbox 360 price keeping it continually below the PS3. Price is the #1 issue here, and MS knew firsthand from last gen how keeping your price lower than your competitor gives you the edge. A $100 gap is simply a big gap. You're even pushing your luck with $50, that almost covers the cost for a new game.

 

There is an argument on the gaming front about what Kinect 2 has right now though, but it's valid, what does it have? Not even Kinect Sports has come out in the first 3 months, the "AAA mingame collection" usually being at the forefront of motion gaming to show off new tech and get multiplayer on the go (biggest use for motion gaming I feel, multiplayer).

 

To remove any bitter taste surrounding Polygon, 90% of my news comes directly from GAF these days. I personally do not read Polygon, but that doesn't mean every article written there will be written off by me, I just don't see most of them as I don't visit the site. 

 

And lastly to qualm any worries behind my intentions of posting this, I was more so inspired to post this topic by Jims video today than getting a reception like the arguments in the resolution/FPS topic. I truly think it would be better for the gaming industry if MS ate some humble pie in Q3/Q4 and released that Kinectless Xbox One. 

 

As Ben says

 

Allow players who like the unit to purchase one separately if they'd like, but let's stop pretending that developers are going to jump back on board the motion control train, or that the expensive piece of hardware is required to accept voice commands that may or may not work.

 

 

The rumour we have so far is potentially a "driveless" console to get the price down $100.... No MS, please, just listen to the consumer again like you did with the DRM. Kinect 2 will do what every other motion device continues to do, survive in it's niche, but we all now know it's not the next big thing regardless of dual cameras, 1080p resolution, "surround sound mics" or any other tech advances. Virtual Reality is on the way, motion gaming is not in the limelight any more and we've had years of experience with motion games to know what works and what doesn't. In other words the consumer can't be tricked again that we're going to be scanning a golf club into Tiger Woods and hitting 1:1 precision chips to score a birdie... Or that an FPS can be better off played with a move pointer than a controller. We've* listened to that before, bought into it, tried it and then left our remotes and cameras to collect dust whilst playing the FPS or golf game on a controller again.

 

*vast majority of us anyway



#13 GotBored

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:55

I get wanting an X1 without Kinect, but why does the TV integration harm you if you arent using it?

 

Same reason as not wanting the Kinect, it increases the cost of the console for a feature people dont want or use.

 

I personally think the tv tuner is justifiably more useless than Kinect because you own a tv to watch tv why would you want it to go through a secondary device to your tv? All its tv features have been in smart TV's for years also.

 

Kinect was one of the main reasons I considered buying a Xbox One, but after testing the PS4 Camera and Kinect and not feeling much of a difference in motion-controlled games I decided to go for the PS4 instead cause of its other benefits.



#14 neoadorable

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 02:13

Expected to hate Kinect but really like it. Only use it for voice commands here and there, and face recognition for log ins. Works nicely, I don't mind it at all.

#15 Showan

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 02:27

So it's not really the Kinect that's the issue. It's the $100 difference that's the real issue isn't it..??

I know making games isn't cheap, but I would give the FULL version of Kinect Sports away for free when it drops.
This will give them some slight breathing room from all the critics (consumers and media). And if the game is actually good it will make Microsoft look even better. And somewhat show Kinects justification.

Microsoft is doing all it can, to not sell the Xbox at a loss. The numbers are good for XB1 sold through to consumers. But the competitions numbers are out of this world and it's smothering Microsoft rather they admit it or not.

Kinect is a non issue if the price were $399.



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