Friday Flame Wars: Xbox One Doesn’t Need Kinect, Do You Care?


Trying to keep track of Microsoft’s stampede of Xbox One backtracking is becoming less like journalism and more like a spectator sport. It’s also a matter of patience. Every time the company makes a defiant statement defending an aspect of the console’s design that consumers clearly don’t want, just wait — it’s only a matter of time before the good folks in Redmond do a brisk 180.

It happened this week with the Xbox One’s new Kinect camera, which raised all sorts of privacy concerns when the console was first unveiled. Since then, people have been asking: “Will the console work without the Kinect? Do I have to buy it if I don’t want it?” “No,” and “yes,” said Microsoft, stubbornly. As recently as July 24, the company released a statement insisting that all Xbox One customers would be getting a Kinect, whether they liked it or not.

That may still be the case, but as of this week, customers won’t have to actually plug their Kinects in. In a statement made to Game Front, Microsoft reluctantly admitted that the Xbox One will still work even if the Kinect isn’t connected. They claim to have “revised their approach,” which is a nice bit of the kind of marketing double-speak that Microsoft has been deploying by the bushel since the console was first unveiled. The statement also points out that “you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor,” while the Kinect isn’t plugged in — tantamount to saying “electronic devices that aren’t connected to a power source won’t work.” Thanks for pointing that out, guys.

Snark aside, Microsoft’s about-face on the Kinect is still heartening news. But how heartening, exactly? In the spirit of Friday Flame Wars, we ask: does it change you opinion about whether or not you’ll buy an Xbox One when they go on sale? Have it out in the comments.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

13 Comments on Friday Flame Wars: Xbox One Doesn’t Need Kinect, Do You Care?


On August 16, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I’m glad. Microsoft has a bad habit of trying to push products that people don’t want. While it has both potential and some novelty use, it’s not essential to the system. Given that, there’s no reason for it to be a “mandatory” piece of equipment.

So yes, another step in the right direction… Now they just need to offer a package without the damned thing in the box, just cut the price.


On August 16, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I’ll definitely be buying one in the future now, but I’m still not wanting the Kinect, so sell the Xbone by itself and I’m definitely in. Hell I’m expecting MS to announce a $399.99 Kinect-free Xbox One at Gamescom next week, gotta compete with the PS4 at its current price.


On August 16, 2013 at 11:12 pm

The Kinect is really no different from the 6-axis or Wii motion control. Except the difference here is when Sony realized the 6-axis wasn’t something that was working well and players didn’t enjoy it, they dropped it. Good idea on paper, bad in execution. For anything more precise than waving your arms around like a fool, Wii motion control started to break down. Other Nintendo problems aside, Wii motion control was a good idea on paper, not so good in execution. I won’t say bad in execution, it just lacked refinement. Both Sony and Nintendo are exploring alternative means of hardware gameplay with their next gen consoles.

MIcrosoft’s approach to the kinect is similar to a man trying to convince his wife of many maaaaaaaany years to try an alternative to marital relations. The kind that involves copious amounts of lube and her learning to unclench and relax so she can enjoy it too. The problem here, is Microsoft is trying to go in dry still with the mindset of “if you just relax you’ll learn you enjoy it”. Some people like that, most don’t however.

In my opinion, there are 2 major reasons why the gaming community is so resistant to the Kinect 2.0. Privacy issues aside, I’m talking about resisting it as a form of gaming hardware.

1. Has anyone in the gaming journalist industry gotten their hands on the Kinect 2.0? Sure, we’ve had all sorts of hardware specs thrown at us. Has anyone actually used the damned thing? Where is the general consensus among the journalist community on whether or not the Kinect 2.0 is actually better than the original? The original has several issues. Sure, they say it works in a smaller room. They say, the microphone is better. They say, the camera tracks better. However, we only have Microsoft’s word to go on that and their word doesn’t really mean a whole lot. Even to loyal Microsoft fans, they’re still hesitant to just go on Microsoft’s word.

2. Mainstream applications. This cannot be stressed enough. The Kinect was supposed to be a new way to play games. It was supposed to free us of the controller. Well, it’s been what? 2-3 years? And we’re still waiting. Yes, it’s a controllerless way to play party and social games. However, they spent years cultivating this core audience that tended reject party and social games on principle alone. Now MIcrosoft can’t figure out why their audience doesn’t want the damn thing.


On August 17, 2013 at 2:59 am

You’d be stupid to buy it. Microsoft isn’t doing this for the sake of the fans, it’s doing it to make its first-year sales look credible. The fact is that they still have the potential to retroactively implement their originally-intended DRM/always-online/always Kinect features at a later date. They’re just trying to get enough people to buy it out the blocks so that they can ‘convince’ them later on that it’s the way to go, then make the changes regardless of what they actually want.

Don’t fall for it.


On August 17, 2013 at 7:40 am

I may be wrong here but is this the first gaming console that has a product coming with it that nobody wants? Personally the kinect piece to me will be used for nothing more than a good old fashioned paper weight.


On August 17, 2013 at 9:26 am

I care .Now I can buy one.. well kind of, now take off the kinect, reduce the price and done.


On August 17, 2013 at 10:04 am

It’s interesting that this console has probably been in the works for what, 5-6 years, and whatever true “vision” they had for this console was scrapped in what, 5-6 weeks? I may not have been a fan of the policies they announced originally, but at least I knew that I’d get to experience their “vision” of the future of gaming. Now that nearly all of the original policies and features have changed, what am I getting? A stripped-down shell of what the X-Box One really could have been. Yes, there was public outcry when the original policies were first announced, but the system hadn’t even been released–no one had even played the damn thing yet. If Microsoft really felt strongly about the vision they had for the X-Box One and the future of gaming, then shame on them for not having the balls to stick to their guns and come out to the media with a message saying that the future of gaming with X-Box is so technologically advanced and new and different that we just don’t understand it yet because we haven’t yet experienced it yet. By making all these changes to X-Box at the last second, it’s telling me that they themselves don’t like their product. And, if that’s the case, then why should I shell out $500 of my hard-earned money for it, especially since I can get a similar product without all the drama and BS for $100 less?


On August 17, 2013 at 11:58 am

Only entertainment you get out of crap pieces of hardware/software like this is laughing at other people dance around like morons, while MS records you dancing around like a moron and giving your personal data and information to the NSA.

There is no point to this technology. Your playing the game in the size and area of a room. How many motions can you make for a game that is equivalent to the garbage you get over advertised and marketed to you on facebook.

RIFT VR crap is also garbage as well. Your still pressing buttons on a controller or a keyboard/mouse. Only thing you get out of a piece of trash pair of goggles to stick your eyeballs closer to a screen is a headache and an eyesore.

Tai Tsing

On August 18, 2013 at 11:59 am

Its a big step forward but I’m still getting a PS 4 first.


On August 19, 2013 at 7:54 am

Very Heartening news. and a good move by MS. I will buy a kinect free xbox1 (i.e…. no kinect hardware onboard); my issue being privacy concerns. Otherwise I plan to migrate to PS4.
P.S. A electronic turnoff version of kinect wont suffice.


On August 19, 2013 at 7:58 am

Very Heartening news. and a good move by MS. I will buy a kinect free xbox1 (i.e…. no kinect hardware onboard); my issue being privacy concerns. Otherwise I plan to migrate to PS4.


On August 19, 2013 at 11:44 am

Why force us to buy it if it is no longer required.

PS4 preordered, and would happily order a $400 Kinect-less XB1


On August 23, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Three reasons I will never use Kinect…

I have a front projector TV in a totally dark room. Kinect doesn’t work in my room.

I only buy racing games and I only use a wheel for a controller. No reason to use Kinect.

I’m 60 years old and the only one who uses my Xbox.