Microsoft explains why Kinect Gestures were pulled out of the New Xbox One Experience

3 min read


When the original Kinect was released, the promise behind it was that we’d soon be controlling our consoles and computers with little more than gestures, like we were Tom Cruise in Minority Report. Of course, we all know what really happened. Kinect proved itself to be very nearly useless – but that changed to a degree with the new Kinect that shipped with the Xbox One. It had gestures that actually worked properly, and controlling the Xbox One dashboard with naught but your hands waving about in the sky largely works as advertised.

Despite that, hardly anybody used them, because it’s still easier to just use a controller or remote control. And that’s one reason why they’re being yanked out of the new Xbox One experience (which should be going live tomorrow). So says Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra, speaking to Windows Central.

“On gestures, when we looked at the New Xbox One Experience, we wanted to prioritize features that customers were asking for, plus areas of improvement from the existing Xbox One UI,” Ybarra told WindowsCentral. “Then, we wanted to look at the use-case model of features that take a lot of investment and say, ‘Is it worth continuing to invest in that area?'”

Could gestures come back? It’s possible, if enough Xbox One fans users rally up support and request its re-inclusion. In other words, probably not.

“With gestures, the reality was the usage was very, very low,” he said. “So for now, we’ve cut that from the New Xbox One Experience. So when we launch, they won’t be in the product. We’ll continue to monitor and listen to feedback to see if people want them in.”

In a statement to Gamespot, Microsoft further clarified why they’d removed gesture control from the Xbox One.

“Gesture controls for navigating the dashboard were removed to focus on fan-requested features resulting in a faster and more social Xbox One experience,” the statement said. “Kinect motion detection continues to be available for Kinect-enabled games, biometric sing-in, and video calls with Skype for Xbox One.”

Kinect, once an inextricable part of the Xbox One experience, is now being pushed further and further out. And it’s a good thing; since Microsoft pulled Kinect out of the Xbox One and dropped the console’s price, it’s gained significant momentum and importantly, mindshare.

Read  Kinect is officially dead, as Microsoft ceases manufacturing

The New Xbox One Experience rolls out tomorrow, bringing with it backwards compatibility.

Last Updated: November 11, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • GooseZA

    And a what? TELL MEEEE!!!!

    • Hammersteyn

      Share this?

  • Gestures on Hololens looks pretty well done though.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    They fucked up the Bone launch so badly. Kinect was mandatory, online was mandatory, it wouldn’t work without it. It could, they just didn’t want it to. Oops. #neverforget

    • Pieter Kruger

      This and the whole “Get a 2nd job” crap is but a few reasons Sony can go screw themselves! #neverforget ????

      • Hammersteyn


        • Gardos


      • WitWolfy

        I’m getting tired of deleting games that had like 9GB worths of patches because of space limitations. JUST GIVE US EXTERNAL HDD support GOD DAMMIT!

    • CiNiMoD

      The thing with this is, gamers cry out for a change, Microsoft changes and gamers say “Too late, you’re dicks”. If MS dont change, gamers complain that they never listen?! You can never win. And this isnt just me protecting MS, gamers are like this in general….

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        In general I agree with you, gamers love whining about lack of innovation… but then turn around and buy the 20th sequel to their favourite franchise and often complain if it’s not like the last one.

        But innovation doesn’t always lead to positive change, and that’s okay too – as long as people learn from it & do better, because nothing better will happen without trying to change anything.

        • Eric Woodley

          Or they focus on the perceived negative impacts. Remember the no disc after install from disc and gameshare features? Those would have been really nice to have

  • Hammersteyn

    Well if they really want the Kinect back there must be a way…

    • WitWolfy

      Hate this douche. Worse gaming representative EVER!!! Acting like he is all for the gamers, but he is just a PR BS MACHINE!!

  • Pieter Kruger

    Never used gestures, but voice is critical! Hope they leave that intact because it’s hands down(hehe) the fastest way to navigate ever! ????????????

    • Gareth Runnalls

      Yup, and its been enhanced significantly with the use of Cortana.

    • miaau

      Voice control is damn good!

      It works and works, the gestures we have not used, almost at all.

  • Hammersteyn

    How to get a XBOX One…

    • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

  • Gardos

    I’m curious as to whether or not everyone will get the “new xbox experience” tomorrow? I initially heard they were doing a phased roll out but now it seems like it’ll be available for everyone on the 12th. Will it start downloading at midnight tonight?

    • Johann

      It will probably come out some time tomorrow for everyone, I don’t think it will be at midnight on the dot. My luck it will start the damn update when I get home and want to play Fallout

    • It will roll out, but it should be a quick roll out.

      • miaau

        Yeah, I see my console says “Update Pending” under the Console Info, under settings.

        Annoying me, that is. I want it tonight, maybe relax with some Mass Effect. 1.

        • WitWolfy

          I will prob get a few XBLA games like Ms. Splosion Man and whatnot…

          .. But thats about it…

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Get ready for the New Xbone Experience…

    • WitWolfy

      I was excited until I saw that none of the BC games I own are on the list.. Was so hoping witcher 2 would’ve been there.. I really dont wanna play it on my JTAG console…

  • Nettrick Nowan

    Philllll!!! Can I get a refund on this piece of crap NOWWWWWW?!?!?!?

  • Charles – The Great and Powerf

    I do like the Kinect. I like being able to make a run through the UI without a controller. It did make things difficult when my knee’s were recognized as palms and so on. Despite some glitches, I think the interface was a nice alternative to searching for your controller. It made Kinect games more fluid. Although voice controls kinda worked for that to. Kinect is awesome. But it wouldn’t be my first go to. I will miss the gestures from time to time, but if its not worth the investment, I’m fine with dropping them but please don’t kill Kinect entirely. Love the device!

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