John Carmack Talks Xbox One Backlash And Kinect Privacy Concerns

Super-whiz programmer John Carmack thinks some of the “witch hunt” against the Xbox One was unjustified, but he didn’t love all of the Microsoft’s original policies either. In this clip from his marathon Quakecon keynote, Carmack forecasts the inevitably of cameras like Kinect and seems less excitable than most about machines that are constantly checking the Internet.


  • I absolutely agree with everything he says. Society falls prey way too much to the media and doesn’t even attempt to think about things past their face value.

  • Carmack forecasts the inevitably of cameras like Kinect and seems less excitable than most about machines that are constantly checking the Internet.
    It won’t happen if people don’t buy them. There’s no “inevitable” future of consumer goods, outside of what the consumer wants.

    • Precisely, we have already seen that with Microsoft’s back flip on their drm policy’s for the Xbox one.

      As long as Kinect is mandatory to run the Xbox one, i will not be getting one.

      • Well with all the code for the original DRM program still hardcoded I think you will see Microsoft do a frontflip back to the original plan within a few years of its release.

    • And the consumer wants next gen gaming platforms and they will buy the XBone and the PS4 by the truckload. The recent DRM backflip and the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t response” prove that – everyone is unhappy about something but everyone will buy to get that next gen creamy goodness.

  • It’s a small black box to plug in… I’m sure they will make it possible to use without but I think you and anyone who feels this way about the kinect are straight up f*@ing dumb, I can’t even think of making it any more sophisticated than that… you should take yourself out of the gene pool

  • Ignorant people in charge. Just like politics. His retention as an employee of that company is unjustified.

    Let me know when they’ve fixed the mandatory Kinect problem, then I just might mull over adding the Xbox One to my consideration list, after which I will consider considering getting it.
    It’s important that Microsoft learns their lesson.

    Welcome to today, where companies who offer services or products, then do the wrong thing, can be wiped out/boycotted towards bankruptcy overnight. It’s justified.

  • Nobody cares about Kinect Spybox.

    Gaming wise it is a useless piece of crap, do not wish to have Kinect creep into my games
    and no NORMAL control available.

    Make Kinect optional, announce you will not provide any of our data to NSA or any similar or commissioned party and my friends and I may consider getting it.

    Privacy is too important.

    • Kinect is not a useless piece of crap. I do not like the current gen Kinect. It is nowhere near what they promote it to be.
      Technologically though it is an awesome piece of hardware. My problem with it is the privacy issue and hackability of it being always online.

      There are some serious security issues that could arise with it though. It’s not my own security I’m concerned about. Say an ASIO agent has an Xbox with Kinect at home who talks on the phone about work stuff while an operative from another government organisation listens in, unwittingly releasing confidential information. Will they ban all security cleared staff from owning an Xbox?

      It MUST be able to be switched off. Always on is not good for anyone. I for one, do not want a camera looking at me, reading my body language, recording audio or detecting my heartrate. I do not like cameras, nor do I like being photographed. Privacy and discretion is a big thing for me.

      I think Microsofts games division has lost touch with reality and what gamers really want from a gaming system. Digital media, yes. Always online, no.

  • I’m surprised there aren’t that many comments here yet about what an “idiot” Carmack is and how he knows “nothing”.

    I’m impressed. Wish GAF was more like this. Carmack is a certified genius and has been in the industry as long as anyone. When he talks, people should really listen, even if it’s something they don’t want to hear.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!