Microsoft to update Xbox One so it works better without Kinect sensor

Today's announcement by Microsoft that it would sell a version of the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor in June also means users can expect some new updates for the console that will help them navigate through its dashboard better with just the controller.

In a chat with Engadget today, Microsoft's Xbox marketing lead Yusuf Mehdi said:

We do want to find ways to give you some of those shortcuts and make some of the things that we have with Kinect easier with the controller. You can expect to see us do a bunch of things over the coming months to make the experience easier and easier, even if you don't have a Kinect.

Mehdi added that the first updates won't be released before E3 2014, which happens in early June, but should be released shortly afterwards, adding. "We're still kind of working through that." 

As far as the reasons behind offering a non-Kinect Xbox One SKU, Mehdi denied today that it was an attempt to boost sales of the console. He repeated Xbox head Phil Spencer's statement today that selling an Xbox One without the sensor was simply to give customers a choice, even if that choice is $100 less than the one with the Kinect device.

Mehdi also denied that the move was made to sell the Xbox One in more territories around the world, although he did admit that localizing the Kinect add-on to work in each country "takes a bunch of time." The Xbox One is only being sold in 13 markets so far, compared to over 50 for Sony's PS4. Microsoft plans to expand the Xbox One's reach to more countries this fall, including China.

Source: Engadget | Kinect Image via Shutterstock

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How about Microsoft update Xbox One to work better with the Kinect. Xbox On has never worked for me and sometimes the xbox will start listening for no reason.

I personally think it is a good move. Those who wanted to buy an Xbox would already have done so and will continue to do so, mostly because of the Kinect sensor, but are waiting for the prices to fall down. So MS isn't loosing any potential customer by this move. However it wins big with those who just want to buy a gaming console at a certain $399'ish price point. Having the XboxOne at the same price point as the PS4 gives it a 50/50 or at least a 35/65 chance of being chosen. That is better then 1/100. Lame for game makers maybe, but those who want to build Kinect capabilities in their game, will at least write some cool stuff to differentiate themselves from the others. Kudos MS for having the balls to see this through.

Microsoft from the start should have just went for the Sony jugular and undercut then by $50 dollars while still including the Kinect. With Sony being in poor financial shape and Nintendo struggling with their latest console Microsoft could have taken control of the console market.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
And more to come!

Part of me says 'great' because they are listening to customers but I also feel that a company like MS should be more in tune with their customers from the beginning and be giving them what they want and need from the outset. I suppose its only people like us who follow tech blogs who get to see the U-Turns but I have to ask what is going on at Microsoft? Why can't they get this right? Why so many UTurns? Do they have a coherent vision that they are executing? Is their finger on the pulse? Do they know where they are heading? It looks like they don't. Windows 8 and Xbox One look like mistakes.

I hope they allow kinect voice commands through a headset, i have no room for my kinect in my room but miss the option for "xbox record that"

This is all a bit sad really.

Next Nintendo announce new version of Wii U without a GamePad (one of it's best features imao)

Maybe we should just have a box for gaming and no innovation at all and you can just add & pay for peripherals later - wait has this not been done before - PC?
and you can charge us extra for the OS (windows) too... argghhhh....

Simon Fowkes said,

Maybe we should just have a box for gaming and no innovation at all and you can just add & pay for peripherals later - wait has this not been done before - PC?
and you can charge us extra for the OS (windows) too... argghhhh....

Maybe we should just start making great games again and quit wasting time and money on stupid gimmicks that everyone gets tired of fast. No one wants to jump around their living room like a monkey or wave at their TV like their communicating in sign language. Normal game controllers are the best way to interact with our games being that we have these really great things called fingers and hands. The best games out on the XBox One don't need or even support use of the Kinect.

Bonfire said,
The best games out on the XBox One don't need or even support use of the Kinect.

So Forza isn't one of the best Xbox One games?
Good to know.

Wow, I knew that it was coming but didn't expect it so soon. This is good, IMO. Haven't picked up a PS4 like I had originally planned, and might consider getting an XBox One now.

I have the Kinect for 360 and it was not compelling enough to want on a new console. I also don't buy the argument that if the Kinect is ubiquitous, more developers will take advantage of it. Most 3rd party developers are focused on making their games work great on PS4 as well as the One. I don't think Kinect gimmicks are high on their priority list. It certainly wouldn't help them sell games, IMO.

How about they just leave the Kinect in the box and still sell it for $399...

I know they have their investors. But it's us the consumer who buys the products....

If they did that, they'd 1) be manufacturing and selling unwanted parts for free and 2) still have people complaining that they're being forced to pay for Kinect, even though it's included for free.

Showan said,
But now, all we have is basically a Xbox 360.5 (or Xbox540 if you want to go this route)

No you have an Xbox One that is same Xbox One as before, only with a cheaper bundle that doesn't include an accessory that was optional to begin with.

Not the way I view it.
You took away what made it different.
I may not be that big on Nintendo, but I love that they are different.

Kinect made it different outside of gaming.

I use voice commands for a lot of things on the X1. Why should enhancing Kinect voice and gestures, etc, be bothered with now that the install base just went from 100% to probably 10% now?


Nothing was taken away, or did MS come repossess your Kinect yesterday?

If your statistics are true, then 10:1 gamers aren't interested in Kinect, so developers wouldn't have incentive to use it even if they knew everyone had one. That would explain was Kinect support was weak even when it was bundled with every system.

I was talking about from a pure Microsoft perspective. No one will develop software until the company that created the product supports it.

I cared about Kinect outside of gaming just as much as I did in gaming.

Its great MS is listening to their customers, but I kind of think they are pushing themselves into a corner on how they make decisions which can be seen in the changes for Windows 8 and Xbox

It's a shame they didn't build a microphone into the controller, that could have perhaps helped (and as the controller is generally closer to the user than the Kinect, a regular cheaper microphone rather than the super special Kinect one might have sufficed) but it's great to see them decouple the Kinect.

As cool as it is, it needs to be smaller, and built in to the console/controller somehow. Right now even if I wanted to I have no where to put a Kinect additional to a console.

I'm happy with the new price too. Once I see a decent Arkham Knight bundle later in the year I'll make a purchase. :)

Still, as well as this Kinectless Xbox One, MS really need to get some kind of AppleTV/Fire TV/Chromecast/Roku rival out there more or they'll end up losing the living room domination they achieved with the Xbox 360.

prettyconfusd said,
As cool as it is, it needs to be smaller, and built in to the console/controller somehow. Right now even if I wanted to I have no where to put a Kinect additional to a console.

My wife and I have about given up on placing our 360 Kinect anywhere usable. Our new TV is too thin to just double-side tape it to the top of the set. Even if it were possible, we hated the way the Kinect looked on top of our previous set (Johnny Five from Short-Circuit, anyone?)....nevermind the annoying green "on" LED (yay, another LED to tape up!). Meanwhile, the Kinect really won't work anywhere else except for high on top of the TV.

Wasn't interested in the XBox One....until now. Good thing MS is listening to potential customers and not over zealous fanboys. If it were up to these zealous MS fans, we'd never have a Kinect-less One or the return of the Start menu in Windows.

hahahahahahaha

oh Microsoft.....you were warned!

Microsoft have been THE worst company I've had to deal with. Their customer support has been disgusting. Due to a cleric error, they debited £400 from my bank account.

Took SIX MONTHS of fighting with them, and all they offered me was three months free xbox live!

glen8 said,
hahahahahahaha

oh Microsoft.....you were warned!

Microsoft have been THE worst company I've had to deal with. Their customer support has been disgusting. Due to a cleric error, they debited £400 from my bank account.

Took SIX MONTHS of fighting with them, and all they offered me was three months free xbox live!

Personal experience vary a lot; when I bought my copies of W8 when it was deeply discounted I was charged multiple times but in less of a week the wrongly charged amount was credited back on my card within a week. Whenever I had an issue with a MS keyboard or mouse they always replaced them with a new one even after the warranty had expired so personally I can only praise their customer service, at least in the US.

Cosmocronos said,

Personal experience vary a lot; when I bought my copies of W8 when it was deeply discounted I was charged multiple times but in less of a week the wrongly charged amount was credited back on my card within a week. Whenever I had an issue with a MS keyboard or mouse they always replaced them with a new one even after the warranty had expired so personally I can only praise their customer service, at least in the US.

You did well, I wish I had received a similar level of service. That said, I'm from the UK and our country is well known for it's bad customer service.

I could give you examples of my poor experiences with Apple customer service and Google's non existent customer service. But overall I think all of them are generally well regarded, including MS.

"As far as the reasons behind offering a non-Kinect Xbox One SKU, Mehdi denied today that it was an attempt to boost sales of the console."

lol

MS just didn't like the color of the Kinect, so they had no choice but to remove it.

It also didn't smell quite right.

The sales figures are purely coincidental.

I'm glad they did. They know people aren't interested in motion gaming gimmicks anymore and responded accordingly by giving people a lower-cost alternative.

nickcruz said,
Stupid MS! They should have never removed Kinect.

Not stupid.. it's good move.

Most people play with the controllers these days. myself included. I have not used kinect lately.

Lord Method Man said,
I'm glad they did. They know people aren't interested in motion gaming gimmicks anymore and responded accordingly by giving people a lower-cost alternative.

Agreed. And lots cannot even use the Kinect fully depending how much room they have in front of their TVs.

nickcruz said,
Stupid MS! They should have never removed Kinect.

What was stupid was requiring it to be bundled in the first place. The Kinect was never popular and trying to force people to like it is pointless. You'd think they would have learned after the first one basically flopped that people don't want to stand around waving their arms at their TV or control their stuff by talking to it. Most people want a normal controller; Nintendo needs to learn that also.

Bonfire said,

What was stupid was requiring it to be bundled in the first place. The Kinect was never popular and trying to force people to like it is pointless. You'd think they would have learned after the first one basically flopped that people don't want to stand around waving their arms at their TV or control their stuff by talking to it. Most people just want a normal controller. Nintendo needs to learn that also.

The problem with XBO Kinect right now, it doesn't have a lot of games to go with it at the moment. Popular games like Dance Central is MIA. Some people might not be using Kinect, but there are people out that uses it.

As for being a flop ...it is just the fastest selling device on record:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12697975

Fastest selling doesn't mean best selling. It sounded like a neat idea and people rushed out to buy one, only later once the newness of the gimmick wears off the thing gets thrown behind their TV gathering dust. I know some people like it but it is far from being popular enough to warrant making it mandatory, that was a mistake and it's nice to see they are finally waking up to that.

Lord Method Man said,
I'm glad they did. They know people aren't interested in motion gaming gimmicks anymore and responded accordingly by giving people a lower-cost alternative.

and on the other hand, one of the most popular android smartphone is full of actual motion gimmicks.

Bonfire said,
Fastest selling doesn't mean best selling. It sounded like a neat idea and people rushed out to buy one, only later once the newness of the gimmick wears off the thing gets thrown behind their TV gathering dust. I know some people like it but it is far from being popular enough to warrant making it mandatory, that was a mistake and it's nice to see they are finally waking up to that.

Fastest selling, what else do you think that would be? If it sells that much, that means it was popular during that time.

People complain that MS doesn't innovate, but guess what, they do, and sometime they are ahead of their time. So now that MS has started something, you are thinking that this is a gimmick ...until someone else comes with similar technology, and states that we do it better than Microsoft. Pfft!

They really just realized a good portion of people are unwilling to accept change and just want to keep doing things the way they have so they are treating us like babies that need to be coddled. Which it seems like most so called gamers do.

Having said that I actually think its an ok idea even though it makes me look dumb since i was one of the "never going to happen" people. That way you can still have your media center xbox one for those of us that want it and the gamer edition that just has whats needed for playing games for the ones that only cared about that. And they will stick it to those people because a good portion will go out and buy kinect later and probably drop 150 on it or more.

RommelS said,
Fastest selling, what else do you think that would be?
Fastest selling means nothing without more information. Something could be the fastest selling thing ever but only for one week and overall end up selling a very low amount in total. It makes it sound like the Kinect should be extremely popular and almost universally well liked, but it isn't.

Houtei said,
They really just realized a good portion of people are unwilling to accept change and just want to keep doing things the way they have so they are treating us like babies that need to be coddled. Which it seems like most so called gamers do.

I hate this complaint, that people "won't accept change". If something is not an improvement why should they accept it? For most people a controller just works better. They could come out with a car where you steer it with your tongue; that would be change but I don't think it would be well accepted. As for your "so called gamers" comment, I think your elitist attitude is showing.

Bonfire said,

I hate this complaint, that people "won't accept change". If something is not an improvement why should they accept it? For most people a controller just works better. They could come out with a car where you steer it with your tongue; that would be change but I don't think it would be well accepted. As for your "so called gamers" comment, I think your elitist attitude is showing.

The problem is you are thinking of it like the kinect is meant to replace the controller entirely and that's not the case. Kinect is an improvement for most. Just look at how man sold for the 360. Its a way to enhance whats there. Sure there are and will be kinect only games but the biggest part for me is the addition of kinect WITH the controller.

lol as far as the elitist thing i guess if you want to take it like that then ok. Elitist means i think my opinion is better then everyone else and i dont and if you think i do then obviously your an elitist too because you obviously think your opinion is better than mine. Also your opinion is its not an improvement but you stated it as if its fact and maybe i did the same with my comment but i dont feel like going back and rereading what i said lol

Houtei said,
lol as far as the elitist thing i guess if you want to take it like that then ok. Elitist means i think my opinion is better then everyone else and i dont and if you think i do then obviously your an elitist too because you obviously think your opinion is better than mine.

No, elitist as in you seem to think there is some qualifying criteria someone has to meet to make them a gamer, and if they don't meet your standards then they are "so called gamers".

Bonfire said,

No, elitist as in you seem to think there is some qualifying criteria someone has to meet to make them a gamer, and if they don't meet your standards then they are "so called gamers".

Well they do have to play games and enjoy it to be a gamer so i guess so.

Houtei said,

The problem is you are thinking of it like the kinect is meant to replace the controller entirely and that's not the case. Kinect is an improvement for most. Just look at how man sold for the 360. Its a way to enhance whats there. Sure there are and will be kinect only games but the biggest part for me is the addition of kinect WITH the controller.

lol as far as the elitist thing i guess if you want to take it like that then ok. Elitist means i think my opinion is better then everyone else and i dont and if you think i do then obviously your an elitist too because you obviously think your opinion is better than mine. Also your opinion is its not an improvement but you stated it as if its fact and maybe i did the same with my comment but i dont feel like going back and rereading what i said lol

I don't want to play Halo, COD, etc with kinect... hell no.. I prefer the controller.

You look funny if you play the popular games with kinect that you move your arms around while your friends laugh at you. :laugh:

shozilla said,

I don't want to play Halo, COD, etc with kinect... hell no.. I prefer the controller.

You look funny if you play the popular games with kinect that you move your arms around while your friends laugh at you. :laugh:

lol im with you man i will never play a FPS with kinect and to be honest i dont play kinect games in front of friends lol but do still however love kinect and think its awesome.

nickcruz said,
Stupid MS! They should have never removed Kinect.

I'm 99.999% sure this is sarcasm, poking fun at all the people who said "They shouldn't force people to have Kinect." when the console was launched.

It's amazing how a sarcastic comment mis-interpreted on the internet can spawn such a serious thread of discussion.

shozilla said,

I don't want to play Halo, COD, etc with kinect... hell no.. I prefer the controller.

You look funny if you play the popular games with kinect that you move your arms around while your friends laugh at you. :laugh:

There was never even an option to play these games by moving your arms around.

RommelS said,

The problem with XBO Kinect right now, it doesn't have a lot of games to go with it at the moment. Popular games like Dance Central is MIA. Some people might not be using Kinect, but there are people out that uses it.

As for being a flop ...it is just the fastest selling device on record:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12697975

Until it got blown out by every iphone released since then.

Enron said,

There was never even an option to play these games by moving your arms around.

I know that but I don't want full-fledged kinect based games which means no controllers needed.

There are some games (bowling, golf, for example) have full-fledged kinect mode which you can move around and use your arms, hands as gun, etc. Which a few games do this and more in the future. That I don't want that. I prefer the controllers for these shooting/racing games that I play mostly.

Answer this question: Why would I have a kinect on my TV that I never use that I play shooting/racing games with the controller?

If I unplug it, I get notification saying that "kinect is unplugged" something like that. I don't want to leave it on the screen or it will leave image burn on the screen.. So I plug it back in.. and now finally, MS is allowing us to remove kinect in the next update.

stevan said,

Until it got blown out by every iphone released since then.

OH I am sorry. I didn't know we were talking about smartphone here. I thought this particular thread is all about Kinect. Move along.

Bonfire said,
Fastest selling means nothing without more information. Something could be the fastest selling thing ever but only for one week and overall end up selling a very low amount in total. It makes it sound like the Kinect should be extremely popular and almost universally well liked, but it isn't.
.

Thus, if you read what I wrote ...at that time. I've already mentioned that there is a problem with the current Kinect right now. ;)

The reason MS is removing it is because they want to sell it in more markets. Even with their vast piles of money and hordes of development resource, they cannot make it work for any language other than US English. That is why Kinect doesn't support all the voice commands outside US even when it has been launched in just 13 markets.

Also, the Developers probably knew this and were not adding any Kinect related gimmick in their games. If MS really wanted people to like Kinect, they should have launched a compelling Kinect games from the launch... There is none... Wii was highly successful with its motion control because of the Wii Sports game that came with it.

MS was getting behind PS4 too much so they has to do something to spring up the sale... But its a big finger to the early adopters when MS said that Kinect was integral part of Xbone.

With all the U-Turns, Now MS has backtracked on all the announcements it made at E3 last year

stevan said,

I made it easy for you to notice...

Well to be fair, you're comparing selling a non-necessity motion accessory that required the ownership of an Xbox 360 versus a smartphone, which everyone these days is expected to have.

Enron said,

Well to be fair, you're comparing selling a non-necessity motion accessory that required the ownership of an Xbox 360 versus a smartphone, which everyone these days is expected to have.

Thank you Enron, I was just about to say the same thing.

Enron said,

Well to be fair, you're comparing selling a non-necessity motion accessory that required the ownership of an Xbox 360 versus a smartphone, which everyone these days is expected to have.

They are both "devices", are they not? I'm not comparing anything, just disproving a claim.

stevan said,

They are both "devices", are they not? I'm not comparing anything, just disproving a claim.

Yes they are devices. However, both are not in the same category, as one requires a dependency, while the other was/is independent from the get go. The problem with the media or even some companies that owns them, they tend to put all of these devices in the same category - comparing smartphone to add-on devices for example - just to claim that our brand X product sold more than your brand Y product.

Dot Matrix said,
Really wish Microsoft would push for more Kinect interaction baked right into Windows for use with Metro apps.

Well, now that Ballmer is older I am afraid that there is no much traction for " monkeys dance" at MS....
PS It is a joke..... Personally I always thought that the famous show he did was great... and I am serious now.