Written and edited by Lynn Gerena
Today Microsoft had a mix bag of news. I say mixed because where some were really great news others are a step-backwards in their process just to feed the masses.
Yusuf Mehdi of Xbox announced today with Phil Spencer that as of June 9th all markets will now have a Xbox One sold for $399 without the Kinect sensor. On top of that all Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners will now be able to access all the entertainment apps whether you have an Xbox Live subscription or not.
The news about not having Xbox Live to watch Netflix, Hulu and other apps is great it makes perfect sense especially if they themselves already charge a month subscription fee. This is the one thing that to be honest makes the most sense out of the news today. It is something everyone has wanted for quite some time and now it is given. Well done Microsoft!
Now on the other “game-changing” news. The Kinect-less Xbox One. Big, big mistake. Here is why. Yes not everyone “wanted” the Kinect and it’s understandable that people cried and moan saying “I won’t buy something that will spy on me or I won’t use.” On the other hand you have many publishers that Microsoft stated to that Kinect is essential to the Xbox One for many reasons and have those developers make their games to include Kinect functionality. How many developers are going to be on the “disgruntled” side of things now that they have invest so much time on a project with Kinect only to turn around and have Microsoft go and cut the install base of the Kinect in every household.
Granted Microsoft wants to compete with Sony and the PlayStation 4. Not bundling the Kinect I believe was not the way to go. Solid game lineups with great innovations using the Xbox One as a whole is where they can win. In my opinion Microsoft has spent too much time on Reddit and other forums where fanboy-ism run rampant.
These are people that truth be told have nothing but complaints to give and will not see this in the positive but will spin this into another flame war. It is their nature. Now I know there hasn’t been a library of Kinect games on the Xbox One yet but damn the system is just 6 months old and not everyone has been thinking outside the box. I am worried that innovations for the Kinect will now falter and come to a grinding halt as developers now can shy away and not bother as they did with the Xbox 360.
Microsoft was quoted as saying “ To be clear, as we introduce this new Xbox One console option, Kinect remains an important part of our vision.” Well if that is the case it will show on how many developers besides Microsoft’s in house studios like Rare will make games that support the Kinect. Even though I see no difference now this life cycle then the life cycle of the Xbox360.
Perhaps come E3 we will have a library of games that show otherwise. We will have to wait till June 9th to be certain. If you are interested the video announcement is below.