XBox One Kinect is dead
Earlier in the year, Microsoft announced that the XBox One Kinect would eventually become optional. Today we find out a disabling the XBox One Kinect actually boosts graphics performance by 10%.
This news is effectively the death of the XBox One Kinect.
The XBox One has been struggling when compared to the PS4. With relatively weak sales, non-exclusive developers are gradually being pushed to develop for the PS4, then port to the XBox One.
The market really isn’t big enough to develop two targeted console versions of a AAA title. Devs have to focus on the PS4 because it has a larger install base. If they went the other direction, they’d end up with games that are not graphically competitive with PS4 targeted titles.
Even with a 10% performance boost, the XBox One won’t be able to compete graphically with the PS4. Nonetheless, it will instantly become standard practice for developers to disable the device. The immediate benefit is that it will be easier to port games. The end results will look better. Just for flicking the switch.
The XBox One Kinect is dead.
The device just hasn’t delivered on Microsoft’s promises. It’s generally used in a gimmicky manner in games that really don’t need it. The always-listening, always-watching features are creepy in the wake of the Snowden NSA leaks.
Early adopters have paid US$100 or more over the price of a PS4. All for the privilege of running a performance challenged console at 90% of its capabilities.
Where does that leave owners who were forced to buy the Kinect package when it was mandatory?
Microsoft have burned a lot of goodwill with all the missteps they’ve taken on the XBox One saga. They’ve put as many feet in their collective mouth as a centipede with a foot fetish. Perhaps it’s time that for Microsoft to “man-up” and offer to buy back all those unwanted XBox One Kinects that are soon to be gathering dust…