Xbox One's Kinect changes lead to 'stronger demand' and promise of more games
Microsoft’s decision to demote the Xbox One’s Kinect from a mandatory fixture of the console to an optional peripheral is beginning to show its benefits. Top gaming retailer GameStop revealed yesterday that in the last week demand for the soon-to-be cheaper console has grown rapidly.
“I definitely think we're already seeing in our stores with our reservation program as well as dialogue with PowerUp Rewards [members that] there's a stronger demand as a result of the price drop," president Tony Bartel said at a post-earnings financial call. "The good news for us is... we'll sell a lot more units. And that means there will be more [Xbox One] units out there to put software on.”
And it’s not just GameStop that singing the praises of ditching the Kinect. At a London preview event last week, Microsoft’s Phil Harrison spoke with OXM about the change and the benefits it will bring to the X1.
"Last week we made a very significant announcement about giving gamers a choice, a choice about how they want to enter the Xbox One ecosystem, by offering them a version of Xbox One both with and without Kinect," Harrison said. "And fundamentally that is good for opening up the Xbox One ecosystem - the more consumers who buy Xbox One, it's a virtuous cycle for more developers to make and more consumers to play games, and that is what we're committed to achieving and continuing.”
That said, Microsoft isn’t abandoning the Kinect any time soon. “But we remain committed to Kinect as the premium way to experience the Xbox One vision,” Harrison added. “Over 80 per cent of Kinect Xbox Ones are active, over 120 voice commands are issued per day on average by all users of the console, so when you have this premium experience that is where the Xbox One comes alive."
The Kinect-free Xbox One will launch on June 9 for $399.
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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