The original Kinect, despite its commercial success and popularity among hackers and enthusiasts, was mostly a disappointment from a purely gaming standpoint. To make matters worse, Microsoft decided to foist the Kinect 2.0 on gamers by bundling it with the Xbox One — even if it meant giving rival Playstation 4 a substantial price advantage right at the outset. But with the move beginning to threaten Xbox One’s prospects, the Redmond-based company finally relented and began offering a $400 Kinect-less SKU a few days back . As a result, a big question mark now hangs over the Kinect’s future.
Our sister publication
TechRadar recently caught up with Yusuf Mehdi
, chief marketing and strategy office at the company’s Xbox division, and asked him about the future of the motion-sensing peripheral.
Here’s what he had to say when asked if Kinect was going to remain a key part of the whole Xbox One experience: “Yeah, I think Kinect is going to continue to be integral. So it works at three levels [voice commands, dedicated games and games that benefit from certain features]. That continues, and we keep making improvements, perfections, and the progress on Kinect v2 has been pretty huge.”
He then proceeded to talk about why the company eventually decided to unbundle it: “The other part is the reason we un-bundled it, and it was a tough decision because we have all of our game publishers, and there was a question of, well, do you lose dev innovation because people can't rely on it being there, versus if we have a new opening price point that's $100 cheaper, can you get a lot more people to come to the Xbox One? And in the end we decided that the latter was the best thing to get, to focus on the customer and to broaden the audience for the developers.”
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