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Unbundling the Kinect from the Xbox One come June 9th is a huge move by Microsoft... more specifically, a huge move by the new Xbox head honcho, Phil Spencer. Well, Larry “Major 'Flip Switcher' Nelson” Hryb had to come clear the air about where Microsoft stands with what some consider to be the NSA Spybox.
Matt Damon from Elysium – oops, I mean Eddie Makuch from GameSpot, caught the news from a recent Podcast hosted on “Major Nelson”s website, where the Major decided to address Microsoft's stance on the Kinect, following the announcement about the accessory being truncated from the Xbox One's bundle, saying...
"We are not discontinuing Kinect or support for it. We still have a whole team of folks working on that. But we want to give everybody who would like to get in on the Xbox One action an opportunity,"
This is such an antithetical stance on what they had once been preaching to the choir of the future. Remember Larry? Remember when you tried to drag Angry Joe into the future with you?
Anyway, there were comments made just a few months ago from the Xbox One's UK marketing manager, Harvey Eagle, where the patriotic birdman had diligently, and ardently, shot down any possibility of the Xbox One being sold without Kinect.
For those of you who don't remember, here is the exact quote from the Eurogamer article, where “Captain” Eagle stated...
“[Kinect is] integral to the Xbox One experience"..."[A Kinect-less Xbox One] is not in our plans at all,"
Good gosh, those are some serious, over-cooked, grilled-crow statements right there.
Hey Eagle... you need some salt to go with that crow?
Well, even if Eagle's response from back in February looks like Bill Clinton's DNA on Monica Lewinski's dress during a court hearing, the reality is that Sony has taken this whole thing in the sort of stride and class that you would expect from a multi-billion dollar company... and that's why they Twitter-trolled Microsoft for good measure.
Now personally? I always felt that Kinect was Microsoft's one and only ace-up-their-sleeve given that the benchmarks prove the Xbox One is weaker than the PS4, the pixel-counters prove that the Xbox One can't hang on the graphics front with the PS4, and PC gaming proves that the Xbox One is the most welfare console of eighth-generation gaming. So how do you fix a console that's stuck in poverty? You give it the kind of software loving that's only possible as a hardware exclusive.
Unfortunately, unbundling the NSA Spybox completely dampens that possibility, as it means the company is stuck with an install base of around 4.5 million Kinects, and that's certainly not enough to push for any third-party publisher to take notice. That's not to mention that the Wii U and PS4 are still kicking the Xbox One's butt in total install base numbers like the far-right extremists are kicking democratic representative Miguel Garcia's butt over his “anglo”-tainted message.
My guess is that Microsoft will probably relegate Kinect to more shovelware following the price-cut this June, and the age of motion-based gaming will stay firmly cemented with the Wii, back in the seventh generation of gaming. Especially considering the poor sales of Kinect Sports Rivals that resulted in Rare having to layoff staff, as reported by Eurogamer.
Then again... maybe things will take a surprising turn at E3 this year?