Home Gaming The Xbox One plan to remove Kinect began in April

The Xbox One plan to remove Kinect began in April

2 min read


We’ve already spoken at length about our thoughts on the Xbox One finally making the Kinect an option instead of a mandatory and expensive piece of tech that few are interested in. But the decision to cut that hardware out of the console wasn’t made lightly, as Xbox head Phil Spencer recently explained.

“We have spent thousands of hours in engineering to make sure voice, gestures, and even IR for TV work great, but when a consumer walks in the store—$399 is a point we hear from consumers that they want Xbox at,” Spencer said to Ars Technica. “I wanted to make sure players were heard.”

This of course, all ties in back to another one of the Xbox One 180s, where constant Kinect vigilance was switched off. From the moment that Spencer joined Xbox as the big cheese however, he knew that it was time to uncouple the hardware. “When we made that decision last summer, engineering work had to go into the platform to make sure the box would run without Kinect plugged in, and that was an enabler for this decision,” Spencer said.

It’s been five weeks since I was made head of Xbox, and at that time, Yusuf Medhi and I—we’re running the program together as partners now—and we began spending a lot of time looking at the list of opportunities for us.

There have been a number of changes so far, including not needing to be an Xbox Live Gold member in order to access apps, while bringing Games for Gold to the Xbox One system. With Kinect no longer a mandatory part of the Xbox One system, gamers now get a cheaper console system. But according to Spencer, Microsoft is still looking to make Kinect a more attractive addition to the console, as well as a better piece of hardware.

“We want to continue to increase the sensor’s accuracy, along with an expansion of international voice modeling and the robustness of skeleton tracking and gesture control,” Spencer explained.

That’s something we’re working on with developers who are focusing on gesture games because that can always get better.

As for bundles, don’t count the Xbox One out yet. The Xbox 360 has market version that includes the Kinect, and the Xbox One will most likely have one, just in time for the silly season. But until then, Spencer reiterated that gamers now have the most important option available to them now: Choice.

“This decision in the long run will give more people a Kinect sensor,” Spencer said. “Now, people can join Xbox One sooner and add Kinect at a later time.”

Last Updated: May 15, 2014


  1. So they did a complete 180… Ok that’s cool. Then they did another 180… That makes a 360……… *GASP* The XBox One is actually an XBox 360!


    • VampyreSquirrel

      May 15, 2014 at 14:12

      Seems legit.


    • Kensei Seraph

      May 15, 2014 at 14:33

      180 degrees is a straight line.
      360 degrees is a circle.

      Xbox Zero of Xbox Ten confirmed as the next Microsoft console.


      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        May 15, 2014 at 15:48

        *GASP* HalfLife3 confirmed!


  2. VampyreSquirrel

    May 15, 2014 at 14:12

    :O by @LlewellynCrossley:disqus ‘s reckoning… I already have an Xbox One!


  3. RinceBroken

    May 15, 2014 at 14:13

    I said this the other day. The time and money spent into the R&R for the Xbox One must have been incredible. I just hope they can make it back when millions of Kinect Units are found next to ET…


    • Guest

      May 15, 2014 at 14:15



    • HvR - THE Average GAmer

      May 15, 2014 at 14:46

      Wasn’t it MS that cleared that dump “looking for Atari ET” in April?


      • RinceBroken

        May 15, 2014 at 14:48

        Yeah, to clear it for the Kinect 2.0 )


  4. Hammersteyn

    May 15, 2014 at 14:17

    Should have said “people can join Xbox One sooner and add Kinect at a later time.” at the launch last year. Also know one cares that their engineers spent thousands of hours on Kinect. Is that why they were so unwilling to part with the Kinect? Would the financial loss be that big.

    Or did they do the math and realized they’d lose more continuing not selling a Kinectless XBOX. Still say this smells of desperation


    • RinceBroken

      May 15, 2014 at 14:20

      Well it the Kinect was 25$ of the cost of the whole bundle.. Yeah, LOTS of money spent, and wasted…


    • Jonah Cash

      May 15, 2014 at 15:02

      Yes just over a year too late!! Well played MS!!!


  5. Jedi JJ

    May 15, 2014 at 14:20

    No plans on the 1080p I assume


    • Stephen Perry

      May 15, 2014 at 17:12

      Considering that part is up to developers, it isn’t their problem. The hardware is there, and Forza 5 proves that 1080P is quite possible on the console.


  6. Alien Emperor Trevor

    May 15, 2014 at 14:22

    I’ll forego the obvious joke about April. What the man says is right, get the thing sold then worry about adding the Kinect later – preferably after you release something that will make people want to use it instead of telling people they have to buy it & wait for something cool one day.


  7. Sageville

    May 15, 2014 at 14:23

    From ‘The Xbox One cannot work without Kinect” to the opposite….

    Tell us more stories Microsoft.


  8. RinceBroken

    May 15, 2014 at 14:27

    They should have staggered the release, and then when the did finally release it, release it with something decent as a bundle, like Star Wars Non Hands Solo


    • Norm

      May 15, 2014 at 14:33



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