This is a dark day in gaming which takes me back to when Sega announced it would no longer be selling the DreamCast. Today Microsoft announced that they are offering an X1 without Kinect, thus ending their marriage of Console and Interactive Innovation. I see this as a fail to all of us gamers and consoles in general. New games, new innovation, are all being sacrificed. We ALL are losing out on the development of fun new games to play, and fun new ways of playing AND things nobody has thought of yet.
The original Xbox One with Kinect 2.0 pushed the boundaries of what a console can do and moved it a step towards the direction of a "Star Trek" level device. Where we can talk and communicate more naturally with our technology. It listens and responds. Remember how in the movie "Iron Man" he uses his computer to come up with better tools, suits and plans. It's all about tool, and humans can do more things with better tools. Kinect 2.0 was an innovated interactive tool.
The original less fancy Kinect is being used in science, aviation and medicine for things that nobody thought it would. It does things its creators never realized. To allow doctors to touch-free manipulate medical records during surgery (thus no contamination), to researchers using it to capture structural changes from an ice flow or details of caves and fine art, and even as a 3d capture device for a flying robot and with added virtual and augmented reality. That's how tech works, you have something, and then figure out what to do with it - but you have to have it first. When the wire and later the nail were invented, I doubt anyone though that someday, they would be utilized to make a Cotton Gin. You have a tool first, then how to use it comes afterwards.
Skyrim on the 360 is better with Kinect. It's more fun to be able to say your actual 'Dragon Shouts.' And not to mention the helpfulness of sorting by price, name or weight, merely by asking in your inventory. It opens up the game to new experiences.
80% of Xbox One owners use their Kinect 2.0 DAILY. I can't think of many things that are used by people 80% of every day. I don't even turn my Xbox One on every day. Now Kinect is relegated to an accessory. Which means it will lose support from developers. This is bad thing for all of us. We never know how all the ways a new tech will be used until we have it. Now we are losing out on future opportunities.
I remember when computer mice came out. They were controversial. People ask why they needed them; some people thought it was a fad - I can do everything with my commands, why lose power to add a mouse and GUI? Losing Kinect on the Xbox One is like coming out with a tablet that doesn’t have a touch screen and requires you to use a mouse. It is a step backwards, a step in the wrong direction.
So gamers will be regulated to once again just be the couch potato sit there and push buttons like a worker in the movie "Metropolis." So perhaps this is a victory for the makers of chips, junk food and soda pop! Personally I would rather be like "Iron Man's" Tony Stark working with a computer than like a Darlek from "Doctor Who" imprisoned by one. So weak that we are unable to function without the computers that at one time served us.
Which leads to another point, why even bother with a console now? With a PC you can get significantly better hardware and many of the same games. When the original Xbox, and Xbox 360 release they were innovative with their memory, GPU, hard drives and other technology. Xbox One has been innovative by the amazing new Kinect 2.0 that can see your fingers, calculate the force of a movement, and even see your heart beat. Without Kinect, we lose a strong reason to get a console over a PC.
I know some people wanted a Kinectless Xbox One, and they are hopefully happy. I think they can not see the cost to the future of not only gaming but also in other ways not yet created. I think the ‘Kinectless Crowd’ is being short sided - just like the workers in Metropolis, when they revolt – yea independence, only to discover later their children in the nurseries were flooded and drown, sometimes a perceived short term gain is in effect, a great loss.
Today we all lose.
I'm back, Let's have some fun and play some games!
6 Months (or so) till DirectX 12!