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Goodbye Kinect

Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 10:25 am
by 666darkamon666
Even though no one could say for sure , and Microsoft has run up to the last stubborn to deny the evidence , had been understood for some time now : the forced marriage between One Xbox and its Kinect motion sensor could not last. Yesterday came the official confirmation : from June 9 will be distributed all over the world a version of " smooth " Xbox One, which will exclude the controversial camera and will be sold at € 399 , the same price of the PlayStation 4.

Basically, in the space of less than a year Microsoft has radically upset all those aspects that were considered strategic and identification of its console next -gen. First there was the withdrawal of the notorious policy of restriction of used games and DRM "always online " , and now fails even the other pillar of the project One original Xbox , the sensor that the company has always proposed as an essential addition to the experience of its next-gen console , but was unable to show clearly to the public what his essential qualities.

With its ( hypothetical) cost € 100 , Kinect had become the elephant in the room, the first suspect as being responsible for the obvious competitive disadvantage against Microsoft rival Sony. The only logical solution was to get rid of it and make what probably should have been from the beginning : an accessory to buy separately , for those who want that kind of experience.
The original vision of Xbox One was a creature of Don Mattrick, but the new management has taken steps to dismantle it piece by piece. Time will tell who is right.
What Microsoft has just done is therefore a wise move but painful. It represents the final nail in the coffin of the ambitious original project envisioned by Don Mattrick (now CEO of Zynga), ie Xbox One turn into something more than a "simple" game consoles: a system that could immediately be seduced by the great public entertainment in general, with plenty of TV and sport, but also through the futuristic interactions based on voice recognition and gesture.

The gamble , although risky , was moved by a right intuition : the global market for digital media streaming will surely be one of the richest food industry over the next 10 or 20 years. The facts, however, have shown that groped to twist the neck to a console , turning them away from their core business to push on a sector that is not his , it is not a wise idea . The new leadership of Phil Spencer seems to have understood and embraced the message , coming back to beat with conviction on the button of pure gaming.

But then what is left of Xbox One, after the sinking of his original vision ? For some, the removal of Kinect clears the main differentiator between the console and Microsoft 's rival PS4 . That's true, but it must be said that simply being different is not enough to succeed. When you ask players to pay a premium for the inclusion of a device, you have to have very clear ideas about what you are offering them in return, otherwise the operation may prove risky knows something Nintendo with its paddone for Wii U, as costly as it underutilized.
Kinect has never won the hearts of hardcore gamers, because he never kept the promises from the point of view of the games.
Xbox One has learned the hard way and abandoned the frills back to being "just" a console, but now seems like a car more agile, competitive and able to compete on equal terms on the only ground that actually counts as part of video games: the games, the services and the quality of the overall experience.

It is no coincidence that, together with the announcement of the abandonment of Kinect, Microsoft has also announced that it will stop to ask for a Gold account (payable) to provide access to Netflix and other popular apps: Another illogical policy and often criticized but remained in power until today. These are the barriers that have so far undermined the success of Xbox One, not the technical inferiority towards PS4 (alleged or demonstrated that it is), and it is only a good thing going to disappear.

We could say: better late than never. After a disastrous start in no uncertain terms, the Redmond company is slowly correcting all the more critical aspects of its console next-gen. If this is the new running Microsoft, we do not doubt that the upcoming E3 will be one of the most interesting in recent years, and we think that the response of the public will soon be felt in terms of sales.
Coming out of the pack Xbox, Kinect is destined in all probability to irrelevance, and with it the whole phenomenon of motion gaming.
Of course , there are still some questions . The first is technical : it is really so easy to "eradicate " Kinect for Xbox One? The console has been designed to integrate the sensor , and according to the information circulated in recent months would reserve a certain percentage of its hardware resources ( say 10% ) to manage its own functions . A software update will probably be enough to " unlock " these resources and make them available to developers , but it is not clear whether at the level of architecture will remain other similar constraints , and in what circumstances may leave tangible signs of this traumatic divorce.

The other consideration is to be done on the phenomenon of " motion gaming " invented by Nintendo between the mockery of Sony and Microsoft, then copied from the latter , and finally glorified to become an integral part of the new Xbox , with the removal of official Kinect package from the console can be said to have finally taken the sunset Boulevard .

From now on , no developer can no longer take for granted that every Xbox corresponds to a motion sensor , so it is easy to imagine that the amount of securities with embedded motion sensing functions tracollerà . I do not know about you, but I do not feel the lack.