I was never a fan of the Kinect for the Xbox 360. It never delivered on the promise of being the next step in gaming’s future. The only game I had fun playing was Dance Central by the folks over at Harmonix. The Kinect’s biggest problem was that it was not in every 360 owner’s home and now, with Microsoft’s big announcement, the Xbox One’s Kinect will face the same fate.
When I heard that the Kinect would be bundled in with the Xbox One, I was actually excited. I knew that guaranteeing that every Xbox One would come with Kinect would ensure that developers would not be hesitant to develop for it due to it being in every home that the Xbox One was.
Although I was not looking forward to Harmonix’s game Fantasia: Music Evolved, it gave me a glimmer of hope that the bigger developers were interested in making games for Microsoft’s newest Kinect. If a game like that would succeed, and I’m sure it would given Harmonix’s track record, it would tell other developers that the market for the Kinect was substantial enough to support more games.
The problem that arises now is a simple one; developers can’t guarantee that Xbox One owners will also own the Kinect. This WILL make them hesitant to start development on any Kinect-based titles.
Now I can hear you now, “BUT RICH, PEOPLE WEREN’T USING IT ANYWAYS, DEVELOPERS WOULDN’T MAKE A GAME FOR IT”. Now I can see where the validity in this statement is coming from, but my argument isn’t against that. My problem lies in the fact that this officially kills any chance of the Kinect becoming a viable gaming tool.
I truly believed in the Kinect this time around. I know it wasn’t perfect, but I know that there was a developer out there who could have done something really awesome with it for the Xbox One and now, with the option to buy the One Kinect-less, there’s a chance we never see a real title past Harmonix’s game.
I’m all for anything that can add to the gaming experience and honestly, I wasn’t ready to give up on the Kinect just yet and this comes from a PlayStation 4 owner. I wanted to see what the future held for the Xbox One’s Kinect and now, it’s be relegated to just another stupid peripheral.
Do I hope an indie developer takes a chance on the Kinect? Hell yes. I just see making a Kinect-based game after this announcement is a very, very dangerous one. I just wish that Microsoft would have stuck to their guns and tried to make the Kinect work. Now we have two systems that are almost exactly the same in the PS4 and Xbox One. So much for moving the gaming industry towards the future, right?