Microsoft's Disconnect : Why do we need Kinect?

Everything else aside one area Microsoft is refusing to give ground on is the Kinect. The Xbox One is being placed outside of a competitive price by the addition of a peripheral they claim is inherent to the function of the box. Saying something is true doesn't make it so. I can ignore everything else about the Xbox One but I keep falling back on this one issue. Why do we need Kinect? Why must every experience be hinged around it's existence. What is it's purpose beyond a curiousity?

The Kinect is a peripheral that nobody asked for. Microsoft wanting some of that Wii money devised a gimmick of their own and moved some units but not a lot of games. Now they are including a Kinect with every Xbox One tacking at least $100 onto the retail price, maybe more. If you consider the One uses older cheaper tech than the PS4 its possible Microsoft could have been the one doing the undercutting this holiday. If only marginally.

Now the defense force typically flies in to save the day around this point. Armed with that infallible logic of well developers know everyone has a Kinect then they will create better experiences for the Kinect. But again why? Why does there even need to be compelling reasons for the Kinect in the first place and why must it be in everything? Creating a product no one asked for then for the most part dismissed then thrusting down the throat of everyone who buys another product in the vain hope that this will make people develop for it is utter madness. Microsoft is creating a disease because they think they have a cure for it. By developing this device they have reversed the natural order of creativity. They have the solution when no ones really thought of a problem yet.

The Kinect's individual strengths are limited. Not very many experiences are uniquely "Better With Kinect". The tactile feel of a button and the more granular precision that comes with it will always trump waving your hands. Even if super responsive and a technological marvel it still doesn't eliminate that. By the time I wanted to say a command have it leave my mouth then be received and interpreted by the Kinect my fingers have already completed the action the words were ever spoken. Things that are solely for Kinect are nothing more than diversions. And explicitly for those who want them. Kinect Sports and Fable The Journey would not have sold more if everyone had a Kinect included with their box. People who want Kinect will buy into it and buy the games.

They have the solution when no ones really thought of a problem yet.

And so back again to the why. From a gameplay perspective the Kinect no matter how accurate or how responsive can never beat the speed at which the human brain can send a signal through the nervous system to my hands. Its still a peripheral its a gimmick. Gimmick doesn't mean bad or good or anything it just means unnecessary. The thing in question can exist without the gimmick. The gimmick only needs the thing. The Kinect is neat, its cool technology that has a million more uses than being an add on for our fancy toy boxes. A more precise version could probably be good for U.I. stuff but not required.

Games won't benefit from this, they'll just have a tacked on list of features same as before. Not every game needs it and it will just steal precious time away. And not everyone wants it, in fact it seems like a lot of people don't want it. Its fluff not the future of gaming. Microsoft should be licensing out Kinect technology to robotics labs, universities, and NASA and raking in billions instead trying to get me to say the words "Xbox On".

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