So, another day brings another couple bits of news about the Xbox One. In addition to taking an inside look (literally) at the Xbox One controller, Xbox’s Mark Whitten also confirmed today that the Xbox One will not require a Kinect unit to function.
This is great news to me. Not so much to the internet, apparently.
Everyone and their dog seemed to flock to Twitter this morning to chime in on the subject. Most are saying that since the Kinect isn’t necessary, they shouldn’t have to buy it. Others are saying that Microsoft’s done “another 180,” and should be condemned. Others still scream that they’re finally free from the paedophiles that would surely be stalking them otherwise.
No, seriously. Look.
@XboxSupport Since Kinect isn't required to be plugged in anymore does that mean a price drop?
— Travis Willia♏️s (@ShankinsHD) August 12, 2013
— Aran (@aranm49) August 12, 2013
— Regular UltraDavid (@ultradavid) August 12, 2013
the best thing about the xbone not requiring kinect now is the lowered price… oh that's not happening? what fuckin' good are you, then?
— gogol bordello power rangers (@pillowfort) August 12, 2013
So is that now an absolute reversal of every single policy and process that Microsoft had in place for Xbox One originally.
— Graeme Donkin (@GrimmyD1) August 12, 2013
The tweets go on and on.
To everyone who’s whinging, I say this: Microsoft just made a great decision. If you’ve used a new Xbox One with Kinect — which I have, and adore — you’ll see why it adds immense value to the system. Voice commands work. It tracks your face and logs you in, instantly. It changes your controller settings depending on the user holding it, so inverted or not, you won’t be wasting time when gaming in a group of friends. It tracks your goddamn heartbeat, for fuck’s sake.
In short, it’s nothing like the Kinect of old, and you’ll actually use it this time around. If you want to take advantage of it, buy the Xbox One, take everything out of the box, and plug it all in. It’s included.
If you’re worried about pedophiles, do what Mark Whitten suggests and turn it off. Or, now, you can just leave the thing unplugged when you don’t want to use it.
Best yet, if you’re an Esports player, or — like me — someone who travels all the time, you’ve one less thing to lug around from hotel room to hotel room.
Granted, Microsoft hasn’t been doing a stellar job when it comes to the launch of the Xbox One, but this proves they’re listening and willing to change it up. Yes, they might have acted too hastily when it came to the required internet connection reversal, but the change in Kinect policy isn’t actually undermining the original vision of the console. Games aren’t required to use Kinect, and I doubt they ever will be. If you want to use the Kinect in-game, plug the thing in and use it. If you don’t, well now you don’t have to feel forced into it.
Microsoft, take that tech demo that you had at E3 and bundle it with the console. Show people the true power of the Kinect. People will want to use it. People will stop bellyaching about it. People will be happy they’ve purchased it, seemingly “forced” or not.
Gamers in general, just stop being so damn negative. Just for a day.
Who am I kidding? I know that won’t happen. I’m sure though that if you all whinge and whinge and whinge, you’ll get a $400 USD Kinect-less console, and then — truly then — will Microsoft’s vision of their next-gen console be utterly destroyed. And won’t you all feel so good about such a victory?