Xbox One: To Kinect or Not to Kinect

In its first iteration, Kinect was a sorely underused and unnecessary peripheral, which seemed to be developed solely for children and fitness fanatics that didn’t mind flailing their arms in front of their television, and looking like a fool.


Kinect’s only use for the average gamer – the one who sits there playing shooters, RPGs and any game that doesn’t involve movement, was its voice control… When it worked. Relatively few games were labelled “Better with Kinect”, and even fewer were truly better with the peripheral. The only example I feel being noteworthy for its voice control was Mass Effect 3, all other games that used it seemed to be gimmicky, or it was just plain easier and quicker to use your controller.

Microsoft announcing that Kinect 2.0 will be shipping with every single Xbox One (rather unsurprisingly) has stirred up quite a fuss in the gaming community. In fact, the majority of the Xbox Reveal did, but we’ll stick to Kinect.

Kinect 2.0 has evolved massively, technologically speaking. It now boasts a 1080p camera, increased FOV and processes 2Gb of data every second. But that isn’t what matters. Developers’ integration of Kinect into games and services will be the key to its success.Xbox-One-s-Kinect-Can-Be-Turned-Off-for-Complete-Privacy

On the plus side, developers will know that every single Xbox One user will have a Kinect. The fact that it currently isn’t exactly clear how many, say, Call of Duty players have a Kinect for the Xbox 360, limits its use in current gen. Why waste money and resources developing extra things for a game, if only a small percentage of users will use them? Now that is no longer an issue, and developers can add extra features like voice control with the knowledge that everyone can use it. That doesn’t mean to say everyone will, however. What is interesting is how developers will utilize the Kinect for their games in new and interesting ways, not just “x, move”. The only thing that is worrying is that perhaps the hardware has evolved, but the things Kinect can add to an experience have not.

The thing most gamers have on their mind is that the Xbox One is never truly ‘off’, is constantly connected to the cloud, and is plugged into the Kinect, which is constantly watching and listening. Microsoft have confirmed that Kinect can be turned off, but many people are still concerned about their privacy, and quite understandably so.

Many people are still very negative about Kinect from its lack of decent integration in the 360. Others, myself included, are optimistic that if developers use the Kinect well, it can be successful. All in all, the new mandatory Kinect does open a lot of doors and offers plenty of promise, but it remains to be seen if certain gamers can get past the always-connected Kinect and purchase the Xbox One in the first place.

Let us know what you think about Kinect 2.0 in the comments – are you optimistic or do you think Microsoft should abandon Kinect all together?




7 thoughts on “Xbox One: To Kinect or Not to Kinect

  1. Welcome to the club/family/group/clan(?)!

    I see a lot of promise for Kinect 2.0. Especially with the rumors of Illumiroom. I also think the privacy concerns are overblown.

    • Yeah nice work cakes welcome to the team. I’m with you on the promise that kinect 2 shows I love motion control and I was so excites to use the original it’s just a shame it was never utilised that effectively. I do wonder if the privacy concerns are more paranoia than anything else but we have had the idea of a patriarchal overwatch shoved down our throats so much in media so much over the years that it’s a idea which is difficult to ignore.

      • Cheers man! I definitely agree with you both; some of the privacy issues are blown way out of proportion. Surely it’s got to be illegal for Microsoft to record anything and everything the Kinect sees, especially if said Kinect is in someones living room or (as with mine) their bedroom. But still, in the event we are wrong… D:

    • Yeah, Illumiroom sounds like something that would really propel a gaming experience into the next level. I look forward to seeing what Microsoft go on to do with it!

  2. Great write up, I am happy to see positive angle to this part of the X-Bone.. Great points that game makers can now incorporate its used heavily knowint everyone playing will have it ready to go!

    • Thanks! Yeah, I can’t wait to see what Devs do when they get their hands on it… Maybe E3 will tell us some of what’s in-store for us!

  3. My issue with Kinect is that if I got the Xbox One, a chunk of the price would be for the Kinect. The price would be much lower if it wasn’t included. Microsoft are shooting themselves in the foot in terms of sales. The infamous PS3 launch price should have served as a warning. Of course, I don’t know the price of the Xbox One, but it’s clearly going to be a serious investment.

    As for the actual technology, it looks pretty damn cool. It’s not something that I’m interested in though. I’ll just wait until the Oculus Rift is at an affordable price.

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