Microsoft thought about putting Kinect sensor inside Xbox One

The recent decision by Microsoft to offer a version of the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor add-on hardware is still being debated, both pro and con, among gamers. However, the lead designer behind the Xbox One, Carl Ledbetter, says in a new interview that the team looked at putting the Kinect sensor inside the console itself.

In a chat with Develop, Ledbetter states that the Xbox One team actually built models that would have included space for the Kinect hardware inside the case. However, it appears that the size of the overall package was to blame for not including the sensor in the Xbox One. Ledbetter stated:

We pushed ourselves, can we put it all in one? Is that going to work? And the technology just isn’t there yet. As soon as you have something much bigger than the Kinect sensor people don’t want to put it by the TV, it’s too big.

Ledbetter says he is happy to see the Kinect become a optional accessory for the Xbox One, repeating what other Microsoft execs have said about giving the consumer more choice in their purchase options. He states, "So somebody can now buy the console and who knows after a day, or a week or a month they can always go buy the Kinect sensor, add it and plug it right in." Microsoft has yet to announce a launch date or a price for the stand alone Kinect add-on for the console.

Source: Develop | Image via Microsoft

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16 Comments

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Would be awesome if Microsoft integrated just the voice commands in the console without the kinect's camera...pretty sure that can't be very hard to do

FalseAgent said,
....

Without the microphone array that's built into the Kinect, recognition would be more difficult.

Kinect erases the sound the console (home theater) is outputting from the input spread.

Even bigger? Crikey the Xbox is even bigger than the fat PS3, also I know so many people who put their consoles inside TV cabinets with the door closed.

The XB1 is HUGE AND has an external power brick. How is it that the PS4 with stronger hardware fits everything in a smaller shell and integrates the power supply and also lets the user access the HDD?

mrp04 said,
The XB1 is HUGE AND has an external power brick. How is it that the PS4 with stronger hardware fits everything in a smaller shell and integrates the power supply and also lets the user access the HDD?

Ikr, I was shocked when i actually saw how big the XB1 was.

mrp04 said,
The XB1 is HUGE AND has an external power brick. How is it that the PS4 with stronger hardware fits everything in a smaller shell and integrates the power supply and also lets the user access the HDD?

There are a couple likely reasons, and they all kind of interplay. The top two would be that MS used a full size optical drive, while Sony used a slim drive. MS also likely wanted to avoid another RROD type issue, so they gave the components more room to breath.

Now, the one thing that concerns me with the PS4's design is that the APU cooler's exhaust air blows though the DC side of the PS4's PSU, right over a bunch of caps, which will likely shorten their life span, hopefully not by that much (I'm not sure what the PS4's PSU caps are rated at for max operating temps, but if you can find out who makes them, you might be able to find a lifetime vs heat chart)

mrp04 said,
The XB1 is HUGE AND has an external power brick. How is it that the PS4 with stronger hardware fits everything in a smaller shell and integrates the power supply and also lets the user access the HDD?

My XB1 doesn't sound like it has a jet engine inside it. I'll take big and quiet over small and noisy.

The Kinect inside the xbox doesn't make a whole lot of sense because many setups don't have the xbox directly in line with the tv. So this would make the camera aspect of the Kinect totally useless if they would have made this decision. It would been unusable in my home theater setup if they would have made this decision since the xbox does not sit in line with the tv.