Microsoft still believes in the Kinect, says it offers a premium experience

Microsoft recently announced a new SKU for the Xbox One that does not ship with the Kinect; this lowers the price of the console by $100 to $399. And when thinking about the lower priced SKU and the minimal showing for Kinect at E3, you might say that Microsoft is starting to distance itself from the device.

According to a new post on Xbox Wire, this is not the case. Microsoft says that they "believe that Kinect delivers a premium experience for the Xbox One" and that they are not planning to drop the $499 SKU.

Of course, it's not like we would expect Microsoft to come out and say that the Kinect was an awful idea and that they are dropping the peripheral from all SKUs. The proof will be in their support for the longevity of the device and we will be curious to see how many games come out that require the device in 2014 and 2015, especially considering the fact that removing Kinect support frees up about 10% more GPU power, and developers are already taking advantage of it with titles like Destiny and Sunset Overdrive.

The question remains, do consumers really want the Kinect and should it still be bundled with all Xbox One SKUs?

Source: Xbox Wire | Via: Winbeta ​| Image via Microsoft

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I want Kinect just for the control of the Xbox, Netflix, various apps and the TV. I don't care about it for games.

I wanted one just for the sake of moving forward BUT i recently had to troubleshoot my TV box (BTTV) and in doing so disconnected it from the XBox One. This proved to have nothing to do with the issue which i diagnosed and fixed at a later date.
However i didn;t get round to connecting the box back to the Xbox and in that time i really (and i REALLY) missed not having use of quick voice commands.

It's not something i thought i'd ever use and it's not something i realised i was using until i took it away. I even occasional still told the TV to pause as i went out the room to do something else only to miss some of the show because i'd forgotten it was no longer connected.

I seriously don't get the hate train here. I use it a lot and it works well, it was a little iffy in the start but each update seems to make it better. When cortana is everywhere and so much more data is gathered the voice accuracy is going to shoot up as well.

When I say use it all the time I mean for little things like turning all my AV gear on and off, changing tv channels, snapping apps etc. Oh and also auto sign in.

The way I see it is I have it, it adds functions, why would I not use them.

Is it perfect? No, but this is a system that's going to keep getting better and better over its 8 year (ish) cycle. That's why I don't get this hate train, there is just zero patience with people today.

Got to agree. It's not something i even thought i would use much but i even surprised my self by how much i missed it when i went without for a little while.

For me at least, it seems to complete the home entertainment line up nicely.

It would definitely still be an Xbox without Kinect. I play games on my Xbox, I sure as hell don't play games on my Kinect.

It would still play all the worthwhile AAA games just fine. None of them require Kinect because Kinect can't offer a AAA experience.

Nothing yet - no software or feature - succeeded in making the Kinect a must have.
It is a fantastic piece of hardware that, unfortunately, is in search of relevancy.

Exactly, having to buy the console with Kinect would have been better if the bundle came with a top class game for the Kinect, lets face it Wii Sports sold the Wii not the new controller method.

What MS should have done is sold the console at an initial loss for $400. As manufacturing costs and licensing comes in, they would have easily made that money back.

BUT it would get Kinect in people's homes and the $100 price difference would no longer be a giant factor in people's decision.

Enron said,
Then people would just say "sell it for $299 without the Kinect"

Yeah.

They should've sold it for $350 without Kinect at launch. Would've beat the PS4.

Enron said,
Then people would just say "sell it for $299 without the Kinect"

I don't know about that. If gamestop is to be believed the cheaper xbox is selling a lot lot more because it's cheaper.

Right now Microsoft wants people to see the benefits to media that Kinect can offer (whether those benefits are real or not is for another topic) but most people couldn't care less about it so they'll just go...why the ###### should I pay $100 extra for something I don't care about?

If Microsoft wants to make Kinect popular with developers and people they need to take a loss and bundle it. Otherwise the Kinect will continue to remain a niche, unused product.

With Xbox One it's not so much premium version vs. value version as it is working vs. non-functional version. You literally can't do anything demonstrated in the latest Xbox commercial without Kinect.

mrp04 said,
You can still play games which is all most people care about ;)

Yea yes yes... And how many people were completely satisfied with their horse and carriage when motor vehicles were just coming out? Boy am I glad Ford didn't give up and start selling models without the engine...

Chsoriano said,

Yea yes yes... And how many people were completely satisfied with their horse and carriage when motor vehicles were just coming out? Boy am I glad Ford didn't give up and start selling models without the engine...

Thing is the engine was a required part for an automobile. The Kinect just adds some not so good multimedia features to a gaming system. The gaming system games just fine without it.

It's like car manufactures offering cars without all the possible features. Which is exactly what they do.

Chsoriano said,

Yea yes yes... And how many people were completely satisfied with their horse and carriage when motor vehicles were just coming out? Boy am I glad Ford didn't give up and start selling models without the engine...
A better car comparison would be buying a regular car, or buying a car with a GPS navigation add-on that you don't want, and when you use it, it barely works properly.

mrp04 said,
You can still play games which is all most people care about ;)
Those people buy PS4.
I for one like Kinect integrated into traditional games in innovative ways.
These types of games are dead now that it's not guaranteed that there is a Kinect in each household.

deadonthefloor said,
Those people buy PS4.
I for one like Kinect integrated into traditional games in innovative ways.
These types of games are dead now that it's not guaranteed that there is a Kinect in each household.

They were dead before it was unbundled. No AAA game used Kinect in any meaningful way. It's not accurate and good enough for a AAA game. If you were required to use it then it would hurt the game and drag down ratings and sales.

Surely you have seen that it isn't 99% reliable if you've been using it. Imagine being in the middle of a Halo match and having to speak or wave or look or something else to be able to play. Middle of a fight the Kinect glitches out and you die. Nope.

virtorio said,
A better car comparison would be buying a regular car, or buying a car with a GPS navigation add-on that you don't want, and when you use it, it barely works properly.

Yeah maybe... I was looking for an angle that demonstrated a major shift though. MS (and other tech companies) are advancing not just consumer technology but the ways in which we interact (or may one day interact) with that technology. The addition of GPS to vehicles just didn't seem big enough, but I see how that might be a clearer parallel.