Microsoft says Xbox One still won't be sold without Kinect

When Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten said Xbox One doesn't need Kinect to function, many (us included) speculated about a Kinect-less bundle; it could be just the thing to match Xbox One's $500 price tag with the $100-cheaper PS4.

But Microsoft corporate VP Phil Harrison told CVG that it just isn't in the cards. Even though Xbox One can function without Kinect, it's still too important a part of the system to go without.

"Xbox One is Kinect," Harrison said. "They are not separate systems. An Xbox One has chips, it has memory, it has Blu-ray, it has Kinect, it has a controller. These are all part of the platform ecosystem."

Microsoft has reversed direction on several of Xbox One's unpopular policies before, but it's getting a bit close to November for Microsoft to start pulling Kinects out of boxes.

"I have an Xbox One at home, and being able to walk in and say "Xbox on", and for the system to recognise me, launch and load my profile, and put my choices of content on the front page is a very magical experience," Harrison said. "It makes you think about your relationship with technology in a slightly different way. It's personal. It makes you think, I wish more devices would do this."

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  • Pruman - August 23, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    Of course it won't be separated, because its inclusion has nothing to do with empowering gamers and everything to do with empowering advertising clients. Microsoft is hooked on that sweet, sweet ad money they're raking in on the 360, and with their new patents on "pay-per-view" ads and being able to target ads based on what the camera sees, they're expecting Kinect 2.0 to reap a massive green harvest for them. You think advertising on the 360 dash is bad? Just wait and see what they have planned for the XBONE. The problem is that Microsoft is foolish, and is presumptively thinking the XBONE will sell as many, if not more, systems as the 360 did, which will let them deliver a big audience to advertisers. What they don't realize is that the 360 got incredibly, incredibly lucky. It rode a massive wave of anti-Sony hype all the way to the bank (who didn't hate Sony after "five hundred and ninety-nine U.S. dollars" E3 and their smug indifference to gamers' reaction, along with their insistence that PS3 would be popular no matter what because the PS2 was? Damn, that sounds familiar.) Once Nintendo debuted the Wii and opted out of the graphics arms-race in favor of targeting non-gamers, Microsoft was left with effectively no competition in the "hardcore gamer" segment, at least until Sony finally started to get its s*** together years later. Thriving in an environment with no competition is the only thing that Microsoft is truly good at. They also think that all the flailing walk-backs and 180s will be enough to win back customers like me, who as recently as six months ago was a die-hard XBOT that preferred playing absolutely everything on his 360, and now hates Microsoft and everything they stand for with the heat of a thousand suns. Well it's not. Not for me, anyway. Anyone who willingly invites this abomination into their homes is a moron of the highest order, because it means they're perfectly fine with letting Microsoft watch everything they do in the living room so that they can sell more ads.
  • TokenGamesRadarFurry - August 23, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    Unless the price gets lowered, this has pretty much negated any chance I'd pick one up this year.
  • GOD - August 23, 2013 12:52 a.m.

    This was clear from the start. The other decisions were all software related and thus they could just edit the system's programming. Not selling the Kinect with the system though? They wouldn't do, because they've already massed produced them at a 1:1 ratio with the consoles themselves. I can imagine that most people would opt for the Kinectless bundle if it was offered simply because it would be cheaper, meaning Microsoft would've been left with millions of Kinects (at a minimum) that nobody wants.
  • Shinn - August 22, 2013 10:31 p.m.

    Hopefully the price of the system lowers then. The only Microsoft ip I care about is Halo, so I'm not really interested in paying more for a weaker console just because it comes with something I don't actually want to use.
  • bert-george - August 22, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    Good. I'm glad they aren't backpedaling on Kinect 2.0. Unless I'm playing a game I rarely pick up a controller to navigate Netflix or Hulu or HboGo. I'm not much of a fan of Kinect only games but I love it when core games utilize the Kinect in awesome ways (I'm looking at you, Skyrim) and taking the Kinect out of the box would turn it into what it is with the current generation. Ensuring that every owner has one will keep developers on board to fully bring that functionality into the next generation.
  • mattdoc30 - August 22, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    Kinect is a great idea and concept, but in order for it to really work and for developers to use it, it needs to come as part of the package from day one. Microsoft has no choice and, frankly, they are right not to release a Kinectless box. For those who has issue with the price, yes, it is expensive but there are some technical concepts in the XBOX One which are going to be really interesting - cloud processing in particular could see the XBOX doing some funky things that the PS4 just can't. Where the XBOX should have always had it's technical advantage is being apart of one of the worlds largest Tech companies. For all it's faults, Microsoft is better at software than Sony and it has way more experience with cloud and global infrastructure than Sony. This gen is going to be better than ever!
  • mattdoc30 - August 22, 2013 11:45 p.m.

    If ARS had done an analysis, that would be interesting. Have you got a link?

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