Kinect No Longer Mandatory For Xbox One (But Will Still Come With It)

Kinect No Longer Mandatory For Xbox One (But Will Still Come With It)

Another backflip? Back in May, Microsoft said that you’ll need have the motion-sensing Kinect plugged in at all times in order for your Xbox One to function, but now they’re reversing course once again.

We already knew that you could turn off the Kinect, but now Microsoft says it doesn’t have to be plugged in at all. Speaking to IGN, Microsoft’s Marc Whitten shared the news that the Xbox One will indeed work without Kinect.

“That said, like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor,” he said.

Asked just how “off” the Kinect can be, Whitten answered totally off.

“You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings. When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information. Any functionality that relies on voice, video, gesture or more won’t work. We still support using it for IR blasting in this mode. You can turn the sensor back on at any time through settings, and if you enter into a required Kinect experience (like Kinect Sports Rivals for instance), you’ll get a message asking if you want to turn the sensor back on in order to continue.”

This is yet another entry to add to the list of stunning reversals in Xbox One policy made by Microsoft over the past few months. In June, Microsoft switched course on Xbox DRM, and they’ve flipped on all sorts of other policies since then.

Microsoft has said they have no intentions of selling an Xbox One without Kinect, so the Kinect is still mandatory in that sense. But Microsoft has changed their minds once or twice before.

The Xbox One will cost $US500, Microsoft has said. That’s with the Kinect. For comparison, the PS4 will be $US400. The Wii U premium package costs $US350.

UPDATE: And here’s Microsoft senior exec Albert Penello, posting on NeoGAF about the flip. (Bolded emphasis mine)

We still believe in Kinect. We aren’t interested in splitting the development base. The more demos I’ve seen, the more I’ve used it — the more impressed I am. The team feels strongly about Kinect, and I hope we’re able to prove that when you use it.

We also have a ton of privacy settings to allow people to turn off the camera, or microphones, or put it in a state just for “Xbox On” and IR blasting — there will be a lot of user control for that.

The thing we all understood, and hence this change, is that there are some scenarios where people just may not be comfortable. We wanted people to be 100% comfortable, so we allow the sensor to be unplugged. And clearly the “it dropped” scenario is possible.

The most obvious thing is watching a DVD/BD, or streaming a movie, or HDMI pass-through, your experience isn’t impacted (except you miss voice and IR blasting)

There is no “gotcha”, but obviously, if there is a game that REQUIRES Kinect (like Rivals), or something where Kinect IS the experience (like Skype), those won’t work.

That said, for people who have privacy concerns there are user control settings, which we believe are great.


      • This will pretty much destroy any significant Kinect integration in games. I can’t see 3rd parties putting any significant Kinect controls in games.

        This is a backwards step, Microsoft are taking away everything that differentiated it from PS4 – and from what we have seen, PS4 appears to be the better option. Why Microsoft Why!!!?

        • Nothing has changed, it is still 100% required to be plugged in and connected to play games and use all console related features outside of HDMI pass through and the disk drive.

          All it does is allow paranoid people the ability to unplug it instead of having it in the “off mode” previous outlined, while they watch movies.

          I just wish these click baiting authors would pull their fingers out instead of trying to ignite another outcry over something that isn’t actually happening and instead report the actual facts and what it really means.

          • All games require kinect, therefore it must be plugged in to play any games regardless of your choice to use it.

            If they wanted it to be unplugged all the time that is what they would have stated, all you people are so hopelessly wrong its hilarious. Every single thing I have stated for the xbox one has come to pass. I’d believe me.

        • It’s better tech than the previous Kinect and every X1 owner will have a kinect 2, I think it will at least do better than Kinect 1.

        • Please…PS4 is hardly an evolution of the PS3 and now likewise with the Xbox One over the 360. Core gamers have asked for a shinier version of now and they’re getting it. Sony chickened out on going full on next gen and MS got crucified for it. Don’t worry, in 10 years time we’ll hopefully have new hardware that doesn’t require a disc to be inserted just to play a game and the paranoia over DRM has subsided…

          • Neither console will REQUIRE a disc. There is a disc drive, but if you want to buy every game on the day of release via their online stores, you can.

          • Surely you jest? Not while physical media is sold and can be resold at over inflated prices!

          • Oh, no, it’s OK. As long as physical media is available and can be sold and resold at over-inflated prices, they’ll just jack the digital prices up to match.

          • I’m getting no physical media if I can help it, I’m wiring mine so it can be played in 5 rooms from one hub, this won’t work with physical media…….i have 4 kids and both me and the wife are gamers too

          • I’ll happily pay less for a game that I can’t resell and do not physically own as it Is tied to an online account. Paying more though? Forget that for a joke. I buy games online when they’re cheap and on sale, I don’t buy them online when they’re brand new and $20 more than the shops.

        • Clearly my opinion isn’t the sole one, but personally I never asked or wanted alot of the things differentiating the Xbox from the PS4 aside from a exclusives.

          Weirdly enough I wasn’t paranoid about the camera thing, but this article and the knowledge that Microsoft actually seems to be listening AND responding to feedback is actually a tipping point towards me buying the console. The loudest voice could easily be the minority, but the hubris of Microsoft (especially building up to and during E3) was actually something of a “deal breaker” for me.

        • At what point did motion controls become so important that it’s seen as a step backwards not to use them?

          Ill be glad when Microsoft decides to bring out a sku of the Xbox one that does not include Kinect or require Kinect to function, then i will happily buy one.

      • Heh. Yeah, right.
        Because 100% audience with motion controls forced devs/pubs to make great use of motion control on the wii. πŸ˜›

        If this argument were a broken clock, it would the kind of broken where it’s missing a hand.

    • Because very likely people will NEED to have it connected as 90% of games (number pulled out of my ass) will likely be built with some integral Kinect integration.

      The devs have been developing for a system where Kinect was a requirement, where they knew everyone would have one… I’d be willing to stake my left nut that the devs have been making games with heavy Kinect integration, some of which will likely break the game if you remove the Kinect.

      • I doubt that very much…Considering most launch titles are multi platform enabling you to either use it or not. First party games may lean on it a little but you watch, I reckon most devs will end up dropping it like a hot turd from their builds now.

      • “will likely be built with some integral Kinect integration.”
        For all the awesome tech in that thing, the only games I know that are using it are Zumba fitness, and Kinect Sports(delayed).
        Ryse even started out as a kinect game, but all that functionality was stripped out, replaced with standard controls.

    • Why have a Blu Ray drive?

      There might be people who don’t want it because they own a Blu Ray player, or only buy games digitally.

      The Kinect is there so every Xbox One owner has it, and this is good for developer’s to know.

    • Omg kotaku epic faiiiiil it was always optional to turn the kinect on/off you dumb bastards!!! Most poorly informed website ever???!?!

  • the next 180 they do will be to ship out consoles on their own so they can cut the price below the PS4

  • I had no issues with the privacy bullshit. My main issue with the Xbox One was the bullshit mandatory use of the Kinect device. Definitely buying day one now! Anyone want to buy a spare Kinect?

    • Neither did I, until I found out that the NSA requires American companies to put backdoors in all of their tech to let the NSA spy on you without you knowing it, without letting the companies inform you about it. The fact that there was no option to unplug the Kinect coupled with that knowledge? It was just too suspicious

      • Even if that was true of the Xbox, then what? The NSA is going to record footage of you playing games in another country because that helps them in some way? People really need to think about this shit logically and realise that it is (unless you happen to be or know someone involved in serious crime) supremely unlikely that they would ever even see any of your data let alone collect it.
        tl;dr Stop being so goddamn paranoid. If they actually wanted to spy on you in this day and age they would anyway.

        • It’s not about being paranoid. Maybe I just don’t want to spend money on a device that sits in my house recording my every move that’s available to secret agencies? It’s not whether they care or not, it’s that given the choice, I still would rather NOT have it in my house. Does it matter if they view my emails? No, it’s the fact that they CAN that pisses me off. Sorry for wanting this weird thing people call “privacy”

          Edit: And if you call it paranoid to say that agencies CAN access it, then you don’t read the news, because even they admit that they can, and do, do it

          • Got a PC? How bout a tablet or mobile phone with camera and GPS? Any number of devices “could” be used to spy on you much more efficiently. If you really didn’t want any personal data monitored you wouldn’t even be on the net. Most of the information they have access to is provided upon request from other companies like telcos and ISPs (who keep the logs), they don’t just grab all the data in the world at random from everyone somehow and magically store it.
            Sure most people would prefer some level of privacy but the chances are almost nil that your specific data will be collected at any point without reason and a lot of the outrage is just for the sake of being outraged.

          • I have a PC. No webcam, no mic. Mobile phone and tablet? Rooted and flashed with ROMs and apps to stop them being turned on when I don’t specifically choose. Most of my personal data is in Gmail, and I’m considering taking it off. I’m actually usually very good about keeping personal info off the net. And as for they don’t just grab all of the data in the world at random? That’s actually exactly what they do

            Take a look at the PRISM documents. They grab any and all data that is routed through USA (which, considering how the internet is built, is almost all data), and store everything. Since they only have so many Petabytes of storage, they only store all data for three days, they store metadata for months, and if data is flagged as important, they store it as long as needed. They literally grab all the data they can, indiscriminately.

            What if the data is encrypted? Like Skype calls and Apple Facetime? Then the NSA goes to the company and orders them to create a backdoor through which the NSA can tap into at any time without a court order. This request is issued under a gag order stopping the companies from even telling anybody that they’re doing it, or that they’ve been asked to do it. If you don’t know all this, you should do a little research.

            Are they going to look up my data specifically? No, I’m a boring person of no interest. My problem was not being allowed to unplug it at all. Given the above, it seems rather suspicious. It was my choice as a consumer to not support that. All Microsoft needed to do was either allow me to unplug it or make a guarantee that they would refuse to let the USA tap into my system even if they faced the consequences for it.

        • Paranoia is it, well tell that to the poor bastard League of Legends player that ended up in Jail because he posted something stupid on his Facebook account and someone reported him (you can look up the article about it, i don’t have the link handy.)

          Now he did something stupid on the internet and he was reported for doing so, how about that with Kinect? would you like to not have the freedom to say what you want in your own house?

          How about if you have kids and you eldest child has done something that has infuriated you but he/she is not home and you say to your wife “I am going to F#$*&! kill him when he gets home”

          That would be an interesting tidbit to keep on file just in case something happens to your child or even how about a visit from your local police that sounds good doesn’t it.

          Bottom line is what you/me or anyone else says in our own home should stay there unless we put it out there willingly, not because we have a recording device picking up everything we say.

          • For one that was a statement that he made on a publically accessible site and there was someone who took it seriously enough to report it. The reaction was way too much but that’s another story entirely.
            With Kinect the problem is that everyone seems to assume that it WILL actually be able to spy on you at any time without permission which is almost certainly a load of shit (I’m allowing for the chance that MS lost their goddamn minds and put in surveillance capabilities which if found out would sink them as a company).
            Kinect is far less likely than almost any other piece of technology that you use such as a phone, tablet or PC to record things you do or say in your house yet it alone is making people lose their minds and rant about surveillance devices in the home…

          • “With Kinect the problem is that everyone seems to assume that it WILL actually be able to spy on you at any time without permission”

            Your permission will be given when you agree to the EULA.

            And Microsoft has said that is always listening for the Xbox On command, do you really think it’s not going to be able to hear other words that are spoken, do you not think those words might be used to target you for ads and other marketing purposes, take a good hard look around at what is happening in the USA atm, PRISIM, the NSA and the massive data center that’s being built to handle all the information gathered.

            Do you really feel comfortable having a device made by a company that has to comply with the American government and hand over any information gathered when requested?

          • Yeah I am comfortable with that, mostly because they would never have reason to look at any data of mine (if they even collected it to begin with) because I’m not a terrorist or criminal (of which I’m sure they have enough to keep them otherwise occupied).
            β€œWhen Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded,” Microsoft explained in June. For apps that do make use of Kinect, Microsoft said personal data would not leave the console without explicit permission.
            Oh and you can also turn off the listening for “Xbox On” stuff as I believe it is Germany that requires devices be able to be fully powered down. But then again you would never believe what a company tells you…
            Do you really think that with all the tech heads in the world, including the ultra paranoid, that not one of them would be able to detect anomalous data coming from their Xbox over their network if they tried? If someone found proof of the sort of things you are worried about MS would be so ridiculously screwed it wouldn’t be funny.

            Anyway, the basic fact is if you don’t trust the Kinect you might as well go live in a cave and throw out all your other tech because that is how you are likely to be monitored and not thru your console. If you have a little bit of reasonable thought, you will realise that you aren’t worth the resources to target specifically and the only data that any system might ever register of yours is metadata or public stuff that you have all over the internet and don’t even think about.

        • Do you follow the news? The NSA follows connections in and out of the US. Where do you think MS data centers are? And they log ALL communications they can. Then only get a warrant to view it. It’s how they bypass all the US laws. They don’t have those shiny new data centers so they can listen for something then discard it if it’s a false positive.

      • What do you think Bluetooth is? Check out your FCC sticker on your bluetooth devices. It legally gives them access whenever they want and they can use it to do whatever, whenever they want.

  • Reason why I won’t be pre-ordering a next-gen console: we don’t actually know yet what we’re going to end up with!

    • But this only proves that Microsoft and Sony can change core features at any time. So day one or six months later, there’s never any guarantee that what you think you’re buying is going to stay that way.

      • When the first disc goes to press, there will be some elements of the hardware/firmware/software that get locked in (though as you note, certainly not everything) … but until that point, literally everything is up for grabs.

  • Microsoft isn’t seeming to stable at this stage. If they were confident with they’re product they wouldn’t change anything. But then again who came up with all these stupid ideas that they’re now reversing?

    Microsoft needs to get their shit together.

    • gotta agree that msofts just taking in what the community says – but at this rate they will just end up shipping ps4’s to everyone, next up issue be the bulky case and no touchpad on their controllers hah πŸ™‚

      • The next thing to 180 should be the controllers being powered by AA batteries, just so they can sell you the charge kit.

        • Or it could be so you don’t have to throw out a controller if/when the battery stops holding charge and also giving you a choice in what you use to power it, seeing as its just AAs and not proprietary they aren’t trying to stop you using some nice rechargeables like Eneloops if you want to. Fixed batteries aren’t a good thing.

    • They had a clear and confident vision, hell they were over confident, then they revealed their console and it flopped before it even launched. Now they’re panicking because they’ve essentially nuked their own brand. They’ve invested a lot of money into the XBOX name so they’re scrambling to do anything and everything they can to get put the XBOX One, as first envisioned, behind them as quickly as possible.
      These 180’s aren’t intended to make the console a success they’re moves to make the console a palette cleanser.

      • They weren’t over confident, they were downright arrogant and pushy. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Xbone had a massive price cut within a month after launch.

        No sympathy for you Micro$oft, you did it to yourself.

        • I’m sure you’re not the type of person to keep track of technology history, but one simple thing this could compared to is Apple.

          A number of years ago, before common USB integration, Apple released a computer that removed most, if not all, ports besides USB and ethernet. Consumers were livid, they would have to buy all new peripherals and printers to interact with their computers. Apple’s response was simple, buy it or don’t.
          This was pre iPhone, early days of iPod (for frame of reference) so this was a huge gamble on Apple’s part. Now look at a current Mac, there are USB ports all over the thing and limited others. They’re now pushing Thunderbolt as the next step.

          Microsoft had a vision for the future. They were prepared to push for this vision, but consumers decided they didn’t want change. It’s disappointing that this happened. We now have USB integration on everything, we could have had digital everything within 10 years.

          • At what cost? It’s not just people not wanting change it’s people not agreeing to the terms of the change. I’m perfectly fine with a system centered primarily around digital delivery, but I’m far from fine with what Microsoft pitched to us. Microsoft’s model was completely one sided.
            They were talking about some good stuff a week or two later, but I get the impression they were making half of the good points of the XBOX One up as they went in response to the bad reveal.

            Don’t blame consumers for the set back here. The reason the backlash was much bigger than the usual ‘we don’t want to upgrade’ complaints comes down to one simple fact, they were greedy and tried to dominate the market.

          • “I’m perfectly fine with a system centered primarily around digital delivery.”

            Did you miss the Government review of the cost of IT software in Australia, you know the one were the company’s could not give any excuse other then because we can about the inflated cost of software here.

            If you go digital only you have no other options of places to get your game, these company’s will not be like Steam and because there is no competition like there is now they can charge whatever they want, not only that as we have already seen the Government can do nothing about it.

          • This is for good reason. The Government does not exist to maintain control over pricing. In this situation, the Government exists to ensure that companies are not taking advantage of the Australian consumer and that markets are not artificially inflated.
            We have exceptionally high prices but we, as a public, choose to pay them. We all have the option of purchasing products online or from overseas. The general consumer chooses not to do this.
            There is not a monopoly or cartel on any product that is driving an inflation of prices. Games cost as much or less than they always have. These are not artificially inflated, this is the price the general public is willing to pay.
            The Government can’t do anything for this would be intruding on the retailer’s right to set their price point. If the Government were to step in and enforce a price ceiling on these and other affected products, it sets a precedent that the Government can step in on any product and change the price as long as it deems the price floor/ceiling necessary.

          • ” We all have the option of purchasing products online or from overseas. The general consumer chooses not to do this.”

            Autodesk blocks Australian users from activating non Australian copy’s of there software forcing you to pay hundred’s to thousands extra for the same product everyone else is getting cheaper, and i am pretty sure Adobe does the same, this is not a consumer choice there is no other way.

            “Games cost as much or less than they always have.”

            I agree they now do, but how long did it take them after the Australian dollar hit parity with the US dollar to lower the prices and why, ill tell you why because people were importing there games for much much cheaper prices that’s why they were loosing money, competition, you know that thing that will no longer exists when the consoles go all digital.

            So tell me how many games you will be buying on a digital only console, how many will you buy from Ebay or Amazon or Zavvi or Ozgamestop….. none you will buy from the console owner only and they will dictate the price and if you don’t like it and refuse to buy the games you can enjoy your $500+ paper weight.

            Competition is very important and removing it only benefits them not us.

          • They tried to maintain control over their system, which is perfectly reasonable. Microsoft wanted anyone who bought their console to connect with them and verify that everything that a consumer was doing with Microsoft’s console was above board. How often we were supposed to connect was a bit much, but as a general rule it’s not too bad.
            As consumers we expect Microsoft to play by the rules but then we turn around and try to break the rules. Many people will try and get anything they can for free and then complain when they get caught and have to face the consequences. Microsoft knows this and wanted to change the rules to be enforceable and say to these complainers “on this day at this time you broke x, y and z rule”. It’s hard to do that when consoles are offline and people can change the times/dates at will.
            It is, unfortunately, another case where the good are punished to stop the bad. I won’t deny that, but really what we were expected to do was not so horrendous, we had to pay for games and connect to verify the games. That aside, the Kinect needing to be always on was strange and whilst I don’t care either way, I can see how people would be upset by this.

            As to them making up policies on the fly, I have serious doubts they would make announcements of policies with such drastic changes without having them planned. Whatever they were going for in their announcement and subsequent slow feed of features didn’t work. It’s doubtful that they would just announce features that weren’t in development.

            Regarding dominating the market, I have to return to Apple for the similarity. They released the iPod and said to use this device, you need to use our software. This evolved to buying vast amounts of music/entertainment through iTunes. We always had the option of going somewhere else to buy this or buying a different music device. However they maintained control over their product. Microsoft was trying something similar. We are welcome to go to PS4 or PC, but if we want what Microsoft is offering, we need to go in their yard and play by their rules. Not a domination, or attempt thereof, on the market, an ownership of their product,

          • There is a very big different between progress and regress. You can STILL buy your Xbone. You can STILL buy your games digitally. You can STILL use your Kinect. What exactly is the problem? Why do you have a fear of missing out? Yes Microsoft had a vision. Hitler had a vision too. It ended up being unpopular to the masses as well.

    • Privacy is a big deal right now, thanks to the NSA. There was no way MS would’ve been able to fight all the “Kinect is spying on you” rubbish on the internet, so this was the best thing for them to do. It’s hardly a change anyway, the kinect still comes with the console. And most people still won’t ‘really’ care, they’ll just leave it plugged in. They’ve just given an option for those that are very concerned about their privacy. Doesn’t change anything for anyone who isn’t. I just hope they don’t decide to sell a Kinect-less Xbox One bundle. That’d be like Nintendo selling a WiiU without it’s tablet game pad. Developers won’t experiment, try new things with the new accessory, because it’d only be a small subset of console owners that have it.

      • I think the FAR greater danger is that developers will be pressured by management to shoehorn unnecessary, unintuitive, tacky features to validate the device’s existence. Like, oh, say… our entire history of experience with horrible motion control in damn near every game ever since the wii/move/kinect. Take out wii sports and dance central, and you’ve basically got a clusterfuck of useless device which has spoiled more titles than it has enhanced.

        Making the thing optional so that devs ONLY coded something for it if they felt it was actually of value and enhances the experience? That would be much better. Create something good and let people flock to it. As it is, they’ve created a nifty tool that they wish they could find uses for.

        • It could be argued that the reason so many games have gotten away with horrible motion controls is that people that own the Wii/Move/Kinect are more of the casual gamer kind, so they don’t really care as much. A lot of the people that will own Kinect 2s will be “hardcore” gamers. They would have a blue fit if these sorts of ‘features’ started appearing in “hardcore” titles, because they’re generally looking for higher quality out of games than casual gamers are.
          We’ll probably see Kinect features tacked on to most games in the first two years, then it’ll slowly die off with games sticking with what works, whether that’s no Kinect at all, or some Kinect features that have stuck during the “throw everything against the wall” period.
          And then you’ve got to remember that AAA titles are mostly multiplatform anyway, so any platform specific features are going to be minimal.

          • The last sentence there is probably the most salient – if they’re not developing a platform exclusive, the kinect integration is likely to be superficial at best, and not one of those innovative game-changers. As for those… well. I guess they’ve got Ryse?

        • Skyrim Kinect was pretty cool, though that was only voice not Motion, but same could be for Xbox One, might not be horrible motion control but just voice activation for certain things.

          • Agreed voice Skyrim was awesome….im also leaving it in, it looks good for dead rising too……cant wait to get the zombies attention away from a hurt co-op partner

  • Unless they otherwise explicitly state in the future, it still require it. I’m about 95% sure this is the same thing they were talking about months ago. Sure you can un-plug it, but it wont actually let you do anything while unpluged that it wasn’t doing before in the “off mode”.

    Previously they stated you could turn it off and still watch blurays and the like, the only difference is that now you can unplug it and still watch blurays for added piece of mind.

    To play games and use every other feature you still need it plugged it. So nothing has changed, i wish sites would stop blowing this out of proportion as if suddenly they are abandoning Kinect.

    They will NEVER release a Xbox One without Kinect.

    • Did you actually read the article? The device does not need to be plugged in FFS! If a game 100% requires use of Kinect to function then it’s up to you to buy said game and plug the fucking thing back in!

  • I still really want to see a proper & complete comparison between the PS4 Camera & the Kinect II. Whilst I want to see some really cool stuff you can do with them, I am not going to be petting animals or placing ‘fake’ toys around my ‘fake’ room.

    I have already purchased my day one PS4, but I am still unsure about the camera. If Sony wanted to shatter the earth under Microsoft (again), they would simply bundle an Oculus Rift with the console!

    • Have you not watched any real tech demos of the Kinect?

      It is pretty much everything they promised from the first version taken one step further. Sees perfectly in the dark can monitor your heart rate, tell which leg you leaning on and even tell which parts of your finger your wiggling and for many people at once.

      It can search out your voice commands even while you have a deafen 7.1 system blarring your COD sound effects and explosions.

      by comparison the ps4 eye is a front camera on a tablet, its not even in the same league.
      As to content, im sure there will be all the usually kiddy fanfair, but you should be expecting alot more proper content this time around, because it actually works

      • I can’t remember where I heard this, but another example of something you can do with the Kinect is have a squad based FPS where you can point at the screen where you want your squad members to move to.

      • And they’ll use all that tech to make some fantastic dance games.

        Don’t get me wrong, it all sounds very promising. But people were forever talking about the potential for the last version of Kinect as well, and it was never truly realised.

        • Well no, the problem was the original kinect didn’t work, at all. So yes in theory it had potential but as soon as it came to market and everyone saw how rubbish it was and completley incapable of the required intricate motion detection need, it become nothing more than useless.

          This is different, because it does work, we’ve seen it work. We have seen what it can do, so all those cool things people wanted out of the first kinect and all the aaa devs wanting to use it (but didn’t, you know because it didn’t work) Will now be able to utilise it in the maner intended. I’m expecting some great things from it this time around, where as before i laughed at anyone stupid enough to spend $5 on it πŸ˜›

      • No I haven’t. That’s why I asked here for a brief run down.

        I only owned a 360 for Mass Effect, then it came to PS3. I’m not a fanboy or anything, just never liked the controller or games like Halo or Gears. ecause of the enjoyment I’ve had from the PS2 and PS3 respectively, I have purchased a PS4.

        I know the PS Eye was rubbish, unless you enjoyed pretending to wipe windows clean etc….
        And I have heard how capable the Kinect is. Just wondering about the Kinect II. Will it be compatible with a PC like the first?

    • The PS4 Eye is a really nice webcam. It won’t move beyond that because developers aren’t interested in using it when the majority of PS4 owners will never even consider buying one. The Kinect on the 360 was pretty dumb but on the XBOX One it’s powerful and has actual support from developers.
      It’s similar to touch screens. They were around for years before the DS/phones but we didn’t see any advancements on PC touch screens (and still don’t) and game design because the majority of PCs didn’t have them. It was a total gimmick when it hit the DS, and then when developers could count on it being there they used it to make some great stuff. The hardware grew in leaps and bounds and eventually we got to the point where it’s not just a gimmick.

      That’s not to say that motion/voice controls will become a part of our core operating systems the way touch has, but I guess if it’s supported enough the AI that processes it all may actually become reliable enough and the design principals behind voice/motion interaction may reach a level of refinement where a Kinect OS isn’t as stupid an idea as it is today.

  • Sony became arrogant. Takes them around 5 years to respond to consumer feedback and change their ways – after they’ve lost billions on their hardware. And this is seen as a good thing.

    Microsoft become arrogant. Takes them around 3 months to respond to consumer feedback and change their ways – before theyve lost a cent on hardware, as they responded to consumer concerns before they even launched. And this is seen as a bad thing.

    I don’t get this. Most level headed bipartisan spectators don’t get this.

    • x2 on this, I had a second gen PS3 from launch (non backwards compatible fat) and Sony have progressed at a snails pace, and felt like they had outright contempt for their users. I’ve only had an Xbox for a year and a half now, but after watching Microsoft make continual improvements and the improvements I’ve experienced I feel like they give far more of a crap about their system and brand.

      • Can you give some examples of what you mean by MS making continual improvements vs Sony dragging their feet? (asking as someone who currently owns both consoles)

        • Dashboard update every two years with basic updates inbetween, continual improvement in that regard from Microsoft. Sony’s dashboard hasn’t improved at all, except adding adverts and moving backgrounds. It was better than the launch Xbox dashboard, but it feels like they’ve left the whole UI to rot.

          Microsoft extended their warranty’s to cover RROD, while Sony didn’t give two craps about YLOD. Not only that but after my Phat YLOD and I replaced it with a 1st gen slim, my Play TV didn’t run as well and has random freezes, works fine on friends phat’s. PlayTV was pretty much dumped on the market and hasn’t had barely any improvement.

          The bloody architecture being a pain to make games for too left me with buggy ports of Xbox games for years until Sony started making decent first party games. PSN was painfully slow for years too (improved now), with it for example taking 1/4 of the time for me to download a PS3 update on my PC, transfer it to USB, and install it that way than it would of to just download it on the PS3.

          Sony also did a terrible job of protecting their users data with the whole hacking bullcrap, and I didn’t appreciate not being able to game for a good fortnight.

          Not 100% Sony’s fault on this one, but also what is with letting ABC and Youtube put links on the dashboard to their web pages when Sony’s browser is so absolutely awful with no optimisation for TV, it’s meant for a bloody keyboard and mouse. At least Youtube has an app now.

          I’ve felt pretty frustrated this generation with Sony and feel like they took a really long time to even understand this generation of consoles. On the other hand I skipped the growing pains with the Xbox and picked up the pretty polished Xbox Slim with the metro dashboard as my first unit. If the Xbox could do Bluray and TV, I wouldn’t even own the PS3 anymore, and given the Xbox One can, it’s the perfect replacement. I certainly don’t have any confidence in Sony doing another PlayTV and not abandoning it for the PS4.

          • A lot of your problems just sound like a bad internet connection. Or just had extremely bad luck with the brand.

            Let’s not forget that the XBox will have slightly better online services because you PAY for them. Now that a PS+ sub. is required for PS4 to go online with games, expect the same level of service.

            If you want a keyboard and mouse for your PS3 browser – Plug them in!

            I didn’t get a PS3 for Play TV, never used it.

            There WAS warranty for YLOD. I still have a launch day 60GB Phat that got it & the latest model Super Slim. No difference, both are good quality for me.

            I really like the XMB. What’s wrong with it? That’s like saying Microsoft has left it’s Windows UI to rot because it hasn’t ‘changed’ the Start bar/menu in years.

            Having worked in on-line security for banks and telecommunications, if hackers are going to target you, there is almost nothing you can do, other than to react. To be fair, the PSN being down for a full month was a BAD thing, and this would never happen with any bank. But, No critical data was actually stolen by. And remember, the PSN was free, and I imagine that if it wasn’t, the issues would have been fixed much more quickly.

      • Microsoft are making continual improvements because they are starting low to begin with. The “improvements” are putting them closer to Sony’s level. It’s like saying well you know Sony has been getting an A- on its report card but Microsoft has gone from a D+ to a B so I think they give more of a crap about their studies.

    • I don’t think this is a correct analogy.

      What is the 5 year-old feedback that Sony is now responding to? I am a PS3 owner, and there are no problems here. Especially with PS+, so many free games!!!!. Maybe spending money on new hardware, after it’s lost so much, shows that it considers the risk ‘worth it’ for it’s consumers.

      I also think that, while the XBOne that was announced, is now completely different to what’s going on sale soon, releasing the original version of the console could have been fantastic. The system may have been a bit unpopular at first, but in a years time, it might have completely flawed the PS4.

      Whilst I see some of you’re points, I also see that one company is taking risks, where the other company is back tracking. Risks are a very important part of growth in a business. Sometimes it’s better NOT to fold on your ideas because consumers say so.

    • I don’t know how you can even compare the failings of the Xbox One to the PS3.

      What “ways” did Sony need to change? Cell? That was never going to change. Expensive blu-ray? In hindsight it was one of the PS3s greatest strengths!

      The Xbox One was a insult to the consumer, and the complaints weren’t limited to the minority, but were virtually unanimous.

      Sony was never arrogant. Cell, the hack etc. were perhaps mistakes, but at least honest ones. All of the Xbox policies that they’ve 180’d on were deliberate and calculated, assuming that the brand loyalty they’d inspired with the 360 would let them get away with it. Those decisions came down to greed and yes, arrogance. And they were rightfully crucified for it.

      • I can see where you are coming from, but I was one of those people that didn’t mind a mandatory couple of kilobytes from my phone (at worst) to keep playing. Or the way discs became basically unlicensed roms to install. Or the sharing my entire library (digital and physical) with 10 of my friends, while enjoying their library too. I have to admit that the kinect 2 being always on and listening bothered me (but they called that pretty early saying that we could just uncheck the boxes in the menu) as there is paraphernalia on my coffee table. I was willing to put up with all that stuff as it wouldn’t have changed anything about the way I game, in fact the sharing would have added to it. They marketed it horribly and for some reason people are against digital still, even though steam is huge… They were even talking about setting up some sort of “license trade in” which would be handy as fvck for my steam account. So many wasted dollars (Id rather the 50c back than have them there in my library).

        But to each his own. Lots of people feel like m$oft have lost direction for the x1. I tend to believe that the vision is still there, but they will have to implement it slower. Like digital. And I’ll still be getting both the x1 and ps4. Why would I limit myself?

  • This does address my privacy concerns, so it is now more attractive. I’m still not convinced about the direction MS is taking, especially seeing how much of the new functionality is behind a pay wall. I’m also not impressed that the battery pack is still an optional peripheral. It just seems like the xbox is going to be a pretty expensive machine to run compared to the wii U and the PS4.

    • This is just my opinion, but I don’t think it’s an issue that so much functionality is behind a paywall now. It was with the previous gen, where PS3 had free multiplayer, but it’s not so much an issue now that both require similarly priced subscriptions to get everything out of them. AAA games are heading towards being social, always or near always-online experiences. If you’re getting a game console and you intend on playing games, you’re almost definitely going to need a subscription, doesn’t matter whether you go MS or Sony. You may not need a sub as much to start off with, because AAA are still a bit in the experimental phase of always-connected, but you’re definitely going to need one towards the end of this new gen. So if you’re getting a game console to play games, you’re going to have a sub, so it doesn’t matter that the entertainment apps are behind the paywall because you’ll be able to use them anyway.
      Do I think that having all that stuff behind a paywall is stupid though? Yes, it doesn’t make any sense. Do I think it’s an issue? No, not really.

      • That’s a fair enough position to take – I guess my feeling is:

        1. Sony is differentiating itself on social stuff;
        2. MS is differentiating itself on multimedia stuff;
        3. Sony is not pay-walling the social stuff, MS is pay-walling the multimedia stuff.

        But you are absolutely correct that to get 100% out of either device, your going to have to pay a subscription.

      • ok, correct me if I’m wrong as i have little interest in the XBone and it’s predecesors and have limited knowledge in regards to any of their consoles, yes we will have to pay a subscription either way but if you sign up to PS+ they throw more than your money’s worth of games at you every month. Does MS give you freebies for subscription? I paid $55 or so for a years sub for PS+ when it was on special and have received 40+ games for the PS3 and Vita.

        • Good point. MS only just started doing something similar last month, giving away free games to Gold subscribers. I don’t think it’s been confirmed if either Sony or MS will keep doing this for the next gen though, at least at the start. I don’t think there’ll be enough games available for them to start giving them away from day one.
          Although if I recall correctly, PS+ members get a special version (don’t know if it’s better or gimped) of DriveClub for free at launch I think. That’s all I can really remember off the top of my head when it comes to free games for subscribers for the next gen.

          • Sweet, not sure about how it’s all going to work. I know we can transfer our accounts over to the ps4 with any remaining plus time left. I’m hoping that some games (maybe indie or downloadables) will be compatable. Even with all the negativity surrounding the next gen I’m pretty excited, been an awesome year so far for games, hope it ends as well as it started.

        • But are they really freebies if you’ve got to pay for it? I buy XBOX Live Gold for multiplayer and a few core XBOX Live chat features (I don’t even think I need Gold for them anymore). So I don’t want more from my XBOX Live Gold subscription I want it to cost less. It’s like the free set of steak knives, they may be worth $49.99 in store but it’s only saving you money if you were going to go out and by them anyway.

          • yeah, good point. Not really free but they really have given me a lot more than my money’s worth. Also I guess it’s good to mention that the games are only playable while your subscription is active so more like an extended rental. Hmm, a lot of points to consider.

    • Agreed, it is now more attractive.

      It has shifted from “no buy” to “will watch launch window with interest and consider one some time in the future after that”

  • Does anyone know how long the connection cable from the XBox One to the Kinect is, and whether an extension cable can be purchased?
    In my home theatre my equipment rack is off to the side rear – I use a standard 10m USB extension cable between the XBox 360 and the Kinect now.
    I believe the XBox One is using a proprietary connector, but have been unable to find out anything further.

    • There’s nothing on the Microsoft Store for it, but they did release an extension cable for the original Kinect so I’d expect them to make one for the XBOX One.
      It took a little digging around but this is what the back of the XBOX One looks like. From that angle you can tell there’s nothing special about it that would stop third parties from producing their own cable.

      If you absolutely got desperate what you’d do is cut the cable they supply with it in half, get some four core cable (from the look of it a long USB cable would do) and splice it into the gap you just created. Just make sure to connect the shielding up properly and ensure you don’t get any of the cores mixed up. It’s a pretty simple operation provided you know what you’re doing. There’s room for some pretty colossal failure here, unlike an AV cable there’s proper power running through it, so if you’re unsure find someone qualified to do it for you.

  • Am I the only one choosing the XB1 before I get a PS4 because voice control is awesome and makes me feel like Iron Man?

    • Being able to turn it on with my voice, and then having it turn on my TV while switching the HDMI over with HDMI CEC is going to give me a Tony Stark style hardon.

    • Well, after E3 in a store full of 100 people preordering consoles, you’d have had two people keeping you company in the xbone queue. Post-backflips, though… I think all that guff was all that was really standing in the way of people getting to live out their computerized future/iron man fantasies.

      That’s if it fucking works. I lack confidence. They couldn’t handle Australian accents the first time around, or tell your ass from your elbow. …Literally. SO much a ‘I’ll believe it after I see it’ for me. I’ve bought all the previous consoles (wii doesn’t count πŸ˜› ), and post-backflip I don’t have any major objections to getting an xbone after I’ve bought a PS4, but I’m pretty sure I’m not buying one until I’ve seen it in use at a friend’s place.

      • Good attitude! Motion control and voice activation have always been all promise, shit execution. I don’t see Microsoft changing that anytime soon.

        But I’m pretty to be proven wrong!

  • In my personal opinion, the shitstorm that was the Xbone unveiling and E3 showings is all because of the word “must”, meaning the Xbox One MUST be online to check in with the servers once every 24 hours, the Kinect MUST be connected for the Xbox One to function properly.

    Once word gets out of a potential negative like the always on Kinect and internet requirements, game press (like all media) runs a mile with it and now instead of Microsoft shouting from the rooftops all the positives and benefits of these systems have, they are now in damage control trying to win back customers.

  • I personally wish Microsoft would have stuck to their original vision like Sony did with the PS3.

    But I guess options are always better.

    The only real game changing decision at this point, would be to drop the price by $100 and KEEP Kinect. Without Kinect, the Xbox One is just a bigger, weaker PS4.

  • my only regret is that Microsoft hasn’t employed a Majel Barrett soundalike as the voice of the Xbox.

    I want to live out my Star Trek fantasies.

  • Microsoft: “You no longer need to turn it on, but we’ll be offering incentives for game developers to shoe in Kinect functionality for every title. EVERY title, mwahahahahahaha!!”

  • So that’s two 180’s? Looks like we have another Xbox 360.
    Another couple of 180’s and we will finally get the Xbox 720 we all wanted.

    • That’s the 4th I think. First there was the internet requirements, then the self-publishing for indies, the headset being bundled with the console, and now the Kinect requirement. I think that’s all there’s been so far.
      So it’s already the Xbox 720 πŸ˜›

  • Good to hear MS listens… part of which is a WA xbox Lan club and none of us licked the idea if dragging kinnects to our LANs……this is great news

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