Editorial

The Xbox One-Kinect strategy didn't work, and now Microsoft (sort of) agrees

Microsoft's previous Xbox leader, Don Mattrick, is the main person to blame for its Kinect issues.

Tuesday's announcement by Microsoft to finally offer a version of the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor was greeted with relief by most consumers. However, there have been some people who have commented that removing Kinect from the Xbox One was a mistake and that it somehow turns the console into something less than it was.

The truth, however, is that the Kinect sensor shouldn't have been included as a requirement for the Xbox One in the first place. That was a decision made by Microsoft's previous leader of the Xbox division, Don Mattrick. He also spearheaded the entire Kinect vision for the team when he approved the launch of the sensor as an add-on for the older Xbox 360.

There's no doubt that Microsoft's team created an innovative piece of hardware with Kinect. The ability to simply move your hands to play a game or to navigate through console menus is magical ... when it works. Being able to simply say "Xbox On" to turn on the console is also extremely cool, but beyond a few simple commands, the Kinect on the Xbox One continues to have issues in listening to humans.

That's the main issue with Microsoft's Kinect vision. Until Tuesday, the company was using its Xbox game console family to test out a research project, using millions of people. The problem is that once the project left the labs in Redmond and entered the real world, the results were less than spectacular.

In the end, Mattrick's decision to bundle the Kinect with every single Xbox One not only raised the price of the console, it also included a piece of hardware that still is in beta and not ready for prime time. Some of the blame for that decision must also go to Microsoft's previous CEO Steve Ballmer, who ultimately signed off on Mattrick's vision for the Xbox One.

It's now 2014, and Microsoft has a new CEO, Satya Nadella, and a new Xbox leader, Phil Spencer. In a chat with Ars Technica on Tuesday, Spencer said the decision to sell the Xbox One without Kinect was made soon after he was appointed as the console's leader in April. While Spencer may publicly say that this move was just to give consumers more choice, it's pretty obvious that the new leadership at Microsoft is no longer convinced that Kinect, at least in this point of its development, is reaching its full potential in the game industry.

I've read a few Twitter posts from game developers and others who say this move deprives them of creating games that use Kinect, now that it won't be available on every single Xbox One. However, let's face facts. Most games that have already been released for the console didn't require the Kinect hardware to play and there's been no rush from developers to "jump ahead" to make new and upcoming games that really take advantage of the sensor's capabilities.

If the Kinect was truly working as it should, Microsoft could have simply lowered the price of the Xbox One, kept the sensor bundled with the console and perhaps take some losses on the hardware front in favor of making that revenue up with increased software sales. That's not the decision that the company made this week, and it was the correct one in the long run.

Spencer also pulled the trigger Tuesday on freeing Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Xbox One streaming apps from requiring a subscription to Xbox Live Gold. Again, the idea to force consumers to pay an extra fee to access apps like this on Microsoft's consoles was made during Mattrick's time as leader of the division, and it simply didn't make any sense when every other set top box, smart TV, or game console didn't have the same restriction.

I wrote a previous editorial that asked Microsoft to free Netflix and its other streaming media apps from Xbox Live Gold in December 2012, again while Mattrick was in charge. However, it took bringing in new leadership for Microsoft to finally realize that this business model was flat out dumb and should be eliminated.

Microsoft has had struggles with the Xbox before. Around this time in 2007, the "red ring of death" on the Xbox 360 was the talk of the game industry as many consoles units were failing due to issues in manufacturing. Microsoft decided to take a $1 billion one time loss and extend the warranty for the console to three years for this specific issue. In the end, the decision was the correct one and Microsoft ended up selling over 80 million Xbox 360 units, and counting.

Spencer is making more bold moves to help both the Xbox division and consumers by removing the Kinect requirement from the Xbox One and the Xbox Live Gold fee for streaming apps. They are the correct moves to make and in the end, it will benefit everyone who buys and uses the console.

Some images via Microsoft

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Well, I love it. The technology you are getting for the extra cost is unreal. Yes, not many games right now, and Kinect Sports Rivals is relatively poor. But even as a away of using voice / gesture commands, Skype, and signing me in through facial recognition it's a no brainer of a purchase for the price. I waited for half decent deals to show up meaning I got my Xbox for £350 with Titanfall. Best value Tech I've ever bought.

For me (I don't own a Kinect yet), it's a bit sad. I do laugh at the "too expensive" thing people trot out. It's less than the price of 2 games. That's nothing.

The problem with this article, the author, and most tech bloggers is that they are myopic. The see only one thing when it comes to the Xbox One: gaming. It's a given, I believe, that the price tag and smaller number of markets Xbox One has been running with that have hobbled sales. It is NOT that the Kinect was bundled, it's that the Kinect was bundled and pushed that price above that of the PS4. But, the part that I believe this article misses is that Microsoft has gotten people like me--who wouldn't take a gaming console if you PAID me to take it--to shell out $500 for something that was much MORE than a gaming console. I'm one of those forward-thinkers who is constantly looking at what new ways tech will modernize my world and make things more convenient. The Xbox One exactly represents this. Even though it's clearly in the newborn stage, the XB1 has solidified its place in taking over my media control at home. It integrates nicely with the cloud and my network, making access to my media painless. And with virtually limitless expansion potential and sophistication (particularly once Cortana comes on board), the PS4 only wishes it could compete. My PC runs circles around any gaming console when it comes to games, so I'll never have use for that on the Xbox One. I'm pushing to see Xbox One become my full home automation nexus. Iron Man's "Jarvis" isn't so far-fetched where Xbox One is concerned...unless you dump the Kinect.

Robert Wade said,
The problem with this article, the author, and most tech bloggers is that they are myopic. The see only one thing when it comes to the Xbox One: gaming. It's a given, I believe, that the price tag and smaller number of markets Xbox One has been running with that have hobbled sales. It is NOT that the Kinect was bundled, it's that the Kinect was bundled and pushed that price above that of the PS4. But, the part that I believe this article misses is that Microsoft has gotten people like me--who wouldn't take a gaming console if you PAID me to take it--to shell out $500 for something that was much MORE than a gaming console. I'm one of those forward-thinkers who is constantly looking at what new ways tech will modernize my world and make things more convenient. The Xbox One exactly represents this. Even though it's clearly in the newborn stage, the XB1 has solidified its place in taking over my media control at home. It integrates nicely with the cloud and my network, making access to my media painless. And with virtually limitless expansion potential and sophistication (particularly once Cortana comes on board), the PS4 only wishes it could compete. My PC runs circles around any gaming console when it comes to games, so I'll never have use for that on the Xbox One. I'm pushing to see Xbox One become my full home automation nexus. Iron Man's "Jarvis" isn't so far-fetched where Xbox One is concerned...unless you dump the Kinect.

Why are you honestly trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole?

Yes, the XBox one tries to be more than a gaming console, but that's not it's centerpiece. Everything exists on the XBox for the purposes of serviing entertainment. You want more, that's fine, but it's about as likely as Office for XBox -- sure it's possible for it to be there, but that's really not what the unit is about. Sorry!

And on that point, the Kinect failed to deliver in the realm of gaming. It did deliver as a interface option for the core XBox unit, but where are the actual games that use Kinect? It is in that very spirit why it was an easy choice to remove it as a core component and make it optional. Developers have spoken, and consumers shouldn't have to pay for the potential of games that haven't seen the light of day - nor are they even on the horizon. Time to cut the losses now before it gets worse.

To be clear, "XBox Record That" is a core feature, not built into the game. You don't need Kinect to record stuff. Etc etc. Voice commands inside games are largely shortcuts to main XBox features.

I have a Kinect for my 360.
Was bought for me as a b'day present.
I feel really bad about it because my gf keeps asking why I don't use it much, and I don't like to hurt her feelings by saying that there's actually NOTHING that I want to play that uses it, so I tell her that I play it when she's in bed. That's that problem kinda sorted.
However, the bottom line is, there's no absolutely killer games out there that require it. Therefore, it's more of a fancy gizmo that just sits there gathering dust.
In actual fact, I've got mine turned around facing the other way because when she's buggering about on the sofa, it makes the hand gesture thing come up when I'm watching a film and is actually annoying.

imho, a small group of very vocal gamers basically spoiled it for the rest.
Discussion about the pricing are a hindsite in this. And all kinds of Apple comparisions don't work here.....

what MS had in mind was very nice, but due to the constant bombardment of nagging on the web I suspected this as much to happen ast some point. With Cortana coming I really saw big potential on top of what alrteady is there.

Agree with me on this or not, but I feel it's a shame, and an example how an interesting vision/product can be 'bullied' into something it was not intended to be.

Dutchie64 said,
imho, a small group of very vocal gamers basically spoiled it for the rest.

I don't think that they made this decision because some tech people of hardcore gamers are whining about it on comment sections.

They probably looked at disappointing sales figures. Usually companies start listening when people vote with their wallets. If it is really such a "vocal minority" like you said there wouldn't be a change of policy now.

Dutchie64 said,
imho, a small group of very vocal gamers basically spoiled it for the rest.
Discussion about the pricing are a hindsite in this. And all kinds of Apple comparisions don't work here.....

what MS had in mind was very nice, but due to the constant bombardment of nagging on the web I suspected this as much to happen ast some point. With Cortana coming I really saw big potential on top of what alrteady is there.

Agree with me on this or not, but I feel it's a shame, and an example how an interesting vision/product can be 'bullied' into something it was not intended to be.

I would hardly refer to the audience of people complaining about a 25% increase in cost for nearly no applicable use in gaming, a "small group".

With no backwards compatibility for software or hardware, an average family is looking at the $500 entry price and thinking ... gee, if it it were 400 I could at least buy two controllers for my kids. Not to mention the games too.

Cortana will not add anything to the gaming, just the core Xbox experience. Let's not forget, the Kinect was sold as "integral to your gaming experience". There are no actual, real, AAA titles that use Kinect. They all use vocal XBox shortcuts, which are for the most part unnecessary for the games.

If I lump myself into the group that "ruined it for the rest", I'll say that I didn't ruin anything. MS and the developers failed to deliver on the promise. It's been a full year since the Kinect 2.0 was announced, it's been several years since Kinect 1.0 ... where, really, truly, honestly, are the games? I'll be the first to admit that if every game truly had a core feature that really used video and voice well (and was unique to kinect) I'd buy into the concept.

The best we've got? Kinectimals ... Kinect sports rivals ... ?? Dance games? All niche stuff. Sidebanding voice chat isn't unique to the kinect, a headphone on the 360 could do that.

So as a consumer I'm asking myself ... two controllers for my kids and move my thumbs a bit more to log in manually ... or get Kinect which saves me a few seconds ... and leave my kids wondering how to actually play team games with only one controller... Hmmmm.

What are the chances of the hardware getting a boost? I just don't see the Xbox One lasting a decade. Nor the PS4 even. They are already making compromises in games now, I don't see how this can really improve with time -only get worse and the gap between console and PC larger. I know graphics aren't everything, but I cant help but feel let down by the so called 'Next Gen' and especially the Xbox One which isn't sure what it wants to be.

Joswin said,
I just don't see the Xbox One lasting a decade. Nor the PS4 even.

I sure hope not. I'd hate to see gaming go through another agonizing stagnation the way it did with the previous gen.

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.

I hope cortana brings kinect some smoothness over time and I can see it being a really coo feature (as it will learn from you, and be with you on all ms devices).

I think this is a good move by them. No one got "burned" and people that don't want Kinect can now purchase the Xbox One for less price. I'm getting one as soon as next Mass Effect hits stores. Always prefered the Xbox controller to the Playstation one.

Kinect just needs to be more compelling that's all. The voice support is really nice, but when they tell you that if it's green you can say it, and then you say it when it's green, and nothing happens, that compelling stuff tends to fly quickly out the Window. Gestures are another thing. I don't understand why they can't wrap their heads around the fact that large sweeping gestures need to be the norm because they are easily understood by the sensor, where as trying to hold your hand steady, and pushing in and out is a nightmare. They need to use SNAP on Gestures to make it easier to do things on screen.

The device itself is extremely capable, the implementation needs a LOT of work. It's too bad really, because I love Kinect just for the voice stuff, but it needs to be more compelling.

Well i guess atleast we can move on to complaining about something else now. Whats next people? Now we have to deal with topics about "Was it to little to late" blah blah. Since they madea kinectless sku and took entertainment apps from behind the paywall now what? What else does the internet demand of microsoft that we can start complaing about now then complain again later when they start "backtracking" (also known as listening to its customer) in 4-5 months?

I do like the new crew at microsoft now. I dunno they really did a good job of putting people in the right position that have that like "cool" factor. Balmer did not have it. Jobs had it for apple though i never liked apple i did like jobs.

I expect them to reduce the price same as PS4 and still include kinect as a way to create more value compared to the competitor rather than messing up their original vision of X1 by removing the kinect. Early adopter might not happy with it but that's how the process work and microsoft is too afraid or trying to preserve profit.

Early adopters generally are smart enough to know this is what happens when you're an earlier adopter.

I'm not burned by it. I love the Kinect with my Xbox one. I sit down and it instantly signs me in and the quality with Skype is incredible. This is the easiest way to get the full family in on a Skype call when you have a little one running around.. So I like the value it brought personally.

scumdogmillionaire said,
Early adopters generally are smart enough to know this is what happens when you're an earlier adopter.

I'm not burned by it. I love the Kinect with my Xbox one. I sit down and it instantly signs me in and the quality with Skype is incredible. This is the easiest way to get the full family in on a Skype call when you have a little one running around.. So I like the value it brought personally.

I totally agree with you as I feel the same way.

scumdogmillionaire said,
Early adopters generally are smart enough to know this is what happens when you're an earlier adopter.

I'm not burned by it. I love the Kinect with my Xbox one. I sit down and it instantly signs me in and the quality with Skype is incredible. This is the easiest way to get the full family in on a Skype call when you have a little one running around.. So I like the value it brought personally.

But now kinect is not a top priority for developer and microsoft since they decided to discard it as default even do it have better hardware compared to eye. I can foresee a great value of the kinect 2.0 if x1 never suffer the resolution and hardware master race controversy then it wouldn't have give the PS4 a significant (price and better hardware advantage). (It's like M:S 0:2 ) which ultimately force them to rethink the strategy of selling x1.

I still think they should had stuck to their guns, improve on Kinect interaction and usability and take it from there. This flip flop move does not bold well. Any new technology that people see that's different has a stage of resistance and if they had stuck with Kinect they could have stayed ahead of the Game. This won't fix much since people will still be whining about Xbox just because and no reason at all. Now Kinect will be put on the back burner and give it a year or two and you will see how Apple or some other company brings the same technology and Wham! they Invented it. Stupid Move Microsoft, Stupid Move.

You can't always try to please everyone, it's impossible to do so. At the least she should have taken a hit with Kinect and develop on it. If you look around and see those that see the new price, they find it's not a price drop but a feature removal and it even comes out more expensive than if you bought it with Kinect.

You don't release a piece of costly hardware without anything to support it.

And considering the fact that its most potent use to date, the TV integration with OneGuide, was only available to the US market, you have all the ingredient for and abysmal failure.

Add to this mess the absence of any significant gaming innovation around it and you have a company that engages damage control strategies that will just make the problem worse.

Kinect is a wonderfully brilliant technology, far more advanced that what its competitor has. Unfortunately, it is in search of something to make it relevant.

Microsoft hasn't found it yet.

In a market as competitive as the console gaming market, inflating the price of the console with a peripheral that wasn't actually necessary for functionality was never going to be a smart move, it should always have been an optional extra IMO.

They've got the right guy at the helm now, and his decisionmaking shows it.

It is just a shame that what he has taken over means he essentially has to try and make chicken soup out of chicken s***. Hopefully the performance of the One won't reflect too badly on him so he is able to define and steer the vision for their next console and show what they can do when they have a proper gamer at the helm who is in tune with what the community wants.

DeltaXray said,
Hopefully the performance of the One won't reflect too badly on him so he is able to define and steer the vision for their next console and show what they can do when they have a proper gamer at the helm who is in tune with what the community wants.
It won't reflect on him. The hardware has shipped and there's nothing anyone can do to change that. Now if he can't bring the UX up to par, that will be on him, but it's rather difficult for anyone to blame the new guy for the old guys irreparable decisions.

When you try to shove down something in customers' throat and ask them 100$ in return, they tend to react. And sometimes, that means they won't buy your product.

Xbox One is an example.

-adrian- said,
Can you explain the IPhone than? It is all about the right marketing not the wrong price

They don't force you to buy an iPhone when you buy a MacBook... Microsoft forced you to buy the Kinect if you wanted to buy a Xbox One. That's wrong

If I want an iPhone, I buy an iPhone. If I want a Nexus or a Galaxy, I'll buy a Nexus or a Galaxy. Apple is not forcing me to buy their phone

myxomatosis said,
When you try to shove down something in customers' throat and ask them 100$ in return, they tend to react. And sometimes, that means they won't buy your product.

Xbox One is an example.

Another example of this was the Metro UI. Microsoft is now doing the right thing by giving the consumer a choice. We speak with our wallets and companies will follow.

Hahaiah said,
The iPhone "works" is the big difference here.

Well that is part of the marketing. One would expect that Siri is very good though - but - its not. It doesn't "just work"

-adrian- said,
Can you explain the IPhone than? It is all about the right marketing not the wrong price
Big difference. I don't know why you would compare the two. One is a phone with many practical and needed features. The other only appeals to a small audience and is an enhancement to the original product.

-adrian- said,

Well that is part of the marketing. One would expect that Siri is very good though - but - its not. It doesn't "just work"

Good thing you're not paying extra $100 for Siri then.

Wall-swe said,
Ehm, but you are, as they shafted every iPhone 4 and bellow user.

Nope. I had an iPhone 4 when Siri came out. Didn't feel shafted.

They should have done this from the beginning as having the choice was the way to go.
People voiced the opinion of leaving it as an option well before the Xbox One launched because of all the NSA ramblings and MS ignored it.
Now, all of this gives the feeling that MS doesn't know how to stick with its guns and have no faith whatsoever in their previous decisions and the products themselves.
Personally, I like Kinect, even from a developer standpoint.
It's all a mixed bag for me ATM as I like what Phil is doing with Xbox Live as a service but I just wish this was something Mattrick would have done at the launch of the device as it will still be a hard crawl back to pole, if they ever make it thus far after all these reversals because of all the negativity that has surrounded it thus far.
It would have been better if the price of the Xbox One would have undercut the PS4's.

Edited by Thief000, May 14 2014, 2:46pm :

I love the Kinect, but MS sees that they cannot keep a good profit from the limited market that they have for Xbox One. Thus unbundling it, and sending them to other markets without Kinect is the best way they can earn from this. Better late than latter because in other markets, PS4 already has a foothold, and localization for Kinect is just taking too long.

Yes, it probably is and they realized they couldn't get full language support going for the second tier countries in time. It wouldn't surprise me if that were the case in september.
But even then, this gives MS a big credibility problem IMO and non gamer people will still be bickering about a few extra lines of resolution on the competing platform for the same price.
MS needs a lot of permanent exclusive content to push the device now.

Thief ...unfortunately, that will always be there.

I just hope that MS continues its vision with Xbox and Kinect in the future - maybe one step at a time, as it seem that the consumer / device are not ready for one another.

As for MS' luck goes, another company would come in and implement something similar and becomes a hit - and being called an innovation.

Edited by RommelS, May 14 2014, 2:03pm :

What Microsoft should have done is absorbed the cost of the Kinect and made up the difference at a later date. I'm all for the choice of having/not having the device but this will only hurt developers in the end, imo.

If Kinect is guaranteed to be a part of the console, it is far more likely developers of all walks will look into taking advantage of it because, it's there why not try and use it?

But now the market will be fragmented between One's with and without the Kinect, and thus severely drops the chances a title will utilize Kinect features knowing that (from a business perspective and a publisher perspective) you are now targeting an even smaller market.

Emn1ty said,
What Microsoft should have done is absorbed the cost of the Kinect and made up the difference at a later date. I'm all for the choice of having/not having the device but this will only hurt developers in the end, imo.

I thought of that as well, but from the stand point of Kinect, I don't think the developers are really much into it. Everyone got excited when the first one came out, and then realized that, hey these are extra codes if we do this. Granted, that could make the difference between the PS and Xbox games sold.

However, as I said, I think MS doesn't want to play catch up from the rest of the market outside of the US. If they will unbundle Kinect to sell it in different countries, then might as well start here first.

MS just need to keep enticing the developers and consumers to purchase the "add-on".

What I'm hearing from people who support this decision is the extremely short sighted analysis. The value of Kinect was knowledge of who was using and sitting in front of the Xbox, how many people, what their mood was, what TV programs-videos-music they consumed, where their attention was, what they liked and disliked. This could've meant much better recommendations and content suggestions that would result in better digital sales and more effective advertising. Not having Kinect is like Facebook encouraging people to use anonymous aliases or Google choosing not to track users from webpage to webpage through their ad network. Think about how how completely worthless Facebook and Google's businesses would be if they made those types of decisions. Maybe they would have more users, but their stock would have no value.

I don't think Phil Spencer and his ilk can see beyond the old fashioned razors and blades model of video game consoles. His vision for the business is dangerously old fashioned. Where I see this decision taking us is Xbox eventually being spun off or sold due to it's lack of competitive value with Google, Apple, Facebook (remember Oculus), or Amazon.

Apple has an Apple TV coming out with a sensor from PrimeSense and likely Siri integration. No doubt if Apple succeeds there will be countless fast followers (Samsung, LG, Google, etc). Microsoft runs the risk now of losing yet another market they pioneered (like tablets/wearables/auto) to faster and more focused competitors. As Microsoft struggles to win last centuries' game console war, they run the risk of losing this centuries entertainment console war. Like Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD beating PlayStation would be a Pyrrhic victory. The cost of winning this battle is not worth the spoils. I'm afraid Xbox team leaders only realize this when it is too late and Microsoft has no choice but to cut the entire Xbox division loose. Yet again Microsoft finds itself with an amazing piece of technology that they have no clue what to do with or how to market it. Microsoft truly is the Xerox-PARC of today; just waiting for Apple to plunder their next great idea.

Edited by Avatar Roku, May 14 2014, 5:18pm :

Thief000 said,
Yes, it probably is and they realized they couldn't get full language support going for the second tier countries in time. It wouldn't surprise me if that were the case in september.
But even then, this gives MS a big credibility problem IMO and non gamer people will still be bickering about a few extra lines of resolution on the competing platform for the same price.
MS needs a lot of permanent exclusive content to push the device now.

First off, they are countries with different languages, lets not be holier than thou.

Secondly, I doubt this had anything to do with it. Even in the states, the fundamental problem was that there were no real GAMES to use this "necessary to have highly integrated gaming system". Kinectimals? Dancing games? Kinect sports rivals (released very very late)?

As an interface option that helps login or shortcuts some commands via voice... the Kinect isn't worthy of being considered as highly integrated or necessary. Heck even the Day-1 admittance you could unplug the Kinect and play games just fine should've been the first clue.

Don't presume this has anything to do with language. Where are the AAA titles that actually use the Kinect for function as integral parts of their games? Developers won't design for an interface that is erratic, because that equates easily to a poor experience, bad reviews, and lost sales.

Another point here, anything that isn't easy isn't fun. I knew the moment I hooked up my first Kinect 1.0 for my 360 that this was a doomed adventure. I didn't have the freaking right room size for it. Then the lighting, etc ... it was just pathetic. I like the tech a lot, and I know the Kinect 2.0 is even better, but I'm looking at my TV right now thinking that I couldn't use the Kinect video parts of it, because it would be at an angle. You just can't sell systems to consumers that require them to remodel their play space in order to have fun. Or maybe the lighting in the room isn't good for the unit.

I know that for every complaint I register here, someone will say "well it worked great for me!" ... and that's just fine. But the reality is that MS wants to separate the negativity of the Kinect from the positive view of the XBox. The tech just isn't ready for a bundled environment. I should be free to buy the Kinect 2.0 and test it and then return it if it doesn't work well for me. Does that stifle development in the Kinect space? I'd say that MS cut their own throats on this one. As an interface option it should be moved to the PC space before and vetted there long before it approaches the consumer / living room / mass market space.

Thief000 said,

Lol, no.

From a business standpoint, if you started with the wrong strategy and you're trying to sell something that nobody asked for, you can't just unbundle it. You need to force it. No developer would ever develop for it of it was a an accessory and a flop. So that would have rounded up an insta-catastrophe which in business world is much worse that stretching it like MS did. It's perverse, but it's like that.