Free Yourself from Kinect.
In the completely bold move this morning, Microsoft completed the full 180 by removing the device they said couldn’t be removed and could never been turned off. You guessed it, Microsoft has done the impossible and is now selling the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor.
Now one would argue that I wanted the Xbox One sold without the Kinect sensor since day one. While this is true, I’m actually more upset about this move now than I was then. The truth is in the marketing. Microsoft since the inception of the Xbox One adamantly stated time and time again that the Kinect sensor was an integral piece to the Xbox One and will forever and a day be a part of it. Like so many of their other fallen ideas; always online, no disc drive, digital downloads and the like have all fallen to the wayside. Whether this is because of consumer feedback or just trying to keep up with the PS4 in sales, the message remains the same, “You can’t trust us”.
Sadly, just like the fallen before it, I wanted to see how everything panned out. I wanted to see how an always online system with only digital downloads would work. I wanted to see Microsoft strive to make the Kinect sensor the integral piece of hardware it was supposed to be. How is gaming and entertainment supposed to advance if you give up on everything literally months after it’s introduced. As Patrick Klepek pointed out earlier this month, talking and waving your hands is something we want to work. So work it out, don’t give it up.
The ironic piece of this pie is the fact that the PlayStaiton Eye camera has actually gone up in price as it’s supply and demand increases. Kinect is getting rid of it’s technologically superior piece of hardware while Sony‘s cute video device can’t be found because no one can keep it in stock. Most of this I can only believe because of Sony’s earlier and seamless streaming since launch, something the Xbox One could only do since last month.
Something else Microsoft plans to drop is the double dipping of apps only usable with an Xbox Gold subscription in June. That’s right, those of you who already pay for Netflix and Hulu Plus can now stream those and other certain apps from your Xbox One and Xbox 360 without Gold. Again, while this sounds great, and trust me, Microsoft is making it sound like they’ve done the customer a favor, this should have been a “thing” a long time ago. You didn’t do the customer a solid here Microsoft, you padded your conscience.
All of this is called consumer advocacy Microsoft, welcome.