Xbox head says Kinect development continues for Xbox One, talks Windows 10 gaming

Xbox with Kinect
Xbox with Kinect (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft made the decision over a year ago to begin selling the Xbox One without the Kinect motion sensor, making it an optional accessory instead of a requirement for the console. In a new interview, Microsoft's Xbox leader Phil Spencer says that the company will continue to develop applications for the Xbox One that will work with the Kinect device.

In a chat with GamesRadar, Spencer says:

"The teams continue to look at ways that Kinect makes the entertainment experience better. I'd say the area that hasn't really landed – and I don't know if it will – is, 'Is Kinect integral to all of the core gaming scenarios on our console in terms of minute-to-minute gameplay?' There are genres where Kinect works really well, but if you're playing Halo or Call Of Duty, there's not really a scenario that says, 'Hey, I need a Kinect.' There is a lot of excitement, and there are still announcements to come about what people are doing with it. But [Kinect's] place will be earned through the experiences that are out there and the developers that show interest."

Spencer also spoke in general terms about their Windows 10 plans for gaming, admitting that their previous Games for Windows Live service was not a success. He stated:

"But GFWL, I don't want to dodge it, I'm not going to say it's not something we had before. But the Xbox team is fully committed to expanding what we're doing across all of the Windows 10 devices, and we're getting the response – at least from the developer community – that [it] means something."

In addition, Spencer commented on Microsoft HoloLens, saying that the company has not yet announced it as an Xbox accessory and that the plan at the moment is for it to work as a standalone device. As far as virtual reality headsets, Spencer seemed open to the idea for the Xbox One, saying:

"I look at VR as an interesting space. It's certainly different to the mixed reality we do with HoloLens, but there's nothing that precludes us from doing something in the VR space."

Source: GamesRadar

  • I haven't upgraded to an Xbox One but I'll probably going to get the Kinects model this summer. My kids really like it.
  • It's worth it. Some people talk bad about it but either they have never actually used it or its not calibrated right.
  • Dear Microsoft, You want to sell more Kinect, bring Cortana to Xbox One. Then add some awesome Kinect integration with Halo 5. This seems obvious? I have Day One, and I love the Kinect games with my 3 & 5 yr kids.
  • Four words: Xbox One Kinect Party
  • Five words: Naked Xbox One Kinect Party
  • Yes. We can live stream it on the WinCentral twitch account.
  • Hahaha....
  • Lol
  • Eight Words: You aren’t invited to next year’s Thanksgiving dinner. 
  • Kinect party was the best. I don't know why they took it off of Xbox one.
  • Orgy Kinect party.
  • I could see Kinect working well in a flight sim scenario. The head tracking would work nicely.
  • Like in Forza.
  • Battlefield 4 has the option to use head tracking when flying jets. When it is working properly it's awesome but I had to turn it off because sometimes it would lose calibration and I would be stuck looking to the side.
  • Talking about Games for Windows, I just purchased a new laptop which runs games of 2014 on medium settings and I had an awesome surprise when I downloaded the client and I could still download all my purchased games. Unfortunately, this delivery platform was not popular and Steam took over the PC games as the top delivery platform of choice. With that said, I don't think its bad if Microsoft cannot compete with Steam, I think Steam is a great complement of Windows and instead of Microsoft duplicating functions that already exist, they should keep making DirectX12 the best choice for game studios so that Windows gets better games in the future. Just my 2 cents.
  • This. I have a feeling if MS launched a PC storefront it'll be as half assed and as bad as Origin. They'll find away to make you pay for more stuff too.
  • Exactly, not all gamers want to purchase digital games, some still prefer to purchase physical discs so they can sell the game after they finish it. So no matter how well designed your app store is, PC/XBox One games don't cost 1 dollar like many mobile games do, so some people see them as a temporary purchase only, so that they can sell their game after it ends so they can get something new. I think the game industry needs to rethink their strategy to see what's the best formula to maximize revenues, either going for full physical disc delivery of full digital purchase is not the option, is somewhere in the middle but the question is how much.
  • No brotha, you need to rethink there. Digital downloads are the future. Everyone should just get used to it.
  • Most AAA games today require you to log in to your account with them through steam/origin/whatever. I bought skyrim and I had no other option than to install trough steam since that's how they sold the boxed copy. As long as policies like that are in place, I'd argue that there is basically no resale value for the physical copies one can get. Those days are mostly passed due to devs and vendors wanting to curb piracy.
  • Since when can you resell PC games?
  • Sue me but I think that origin is better than steam because I like the ability to refund and getting a free game every month. Steam is only good because it has a lot of games. Bring all those games to origin and you'll see how good it really is.
  • You and me... and that's likely it.  I've found Steam's lack of return policies and "customer support" to be lacking to say in the least.  
  • What's so bad about Origin?
  • Otigin is better than Steam
  • For this to fit into Microsofts idea of Windows across all platforms though eventually they need to deliver games through their store for XB1 and Windows and Phone (if it applies). I think that is what developpers are excited about. It would be interesting if Steam and MS teamed up to have the steam store on XB1 or something. That could be very interesting for consumers... That probably wont happen though but its fun to think about =). 
  • They've been talking about Kinect for years, still havent done anything with it themselves. Cant see that changing.
  • I agree. They pretty much killed it
  • Upload studio 2.0 made use of it. The green screen is great.
  • Totally agree. XB1 was thier chance to really showcase Kinect as a gaming controller and show why it was better than PS4. If MS can't even do it when their platform depends on it, how can we still expect regular developers to come up with the unicorn kinect experiences?
  • As long as I'm not able to sell digital downloads after playing them, I'm not interested in steam or whatever it might be called... Speaking of Kinect - there is some room for improvement. For those few games with Kinect support the experience is not really great in my opinion. But I like to use it to control volume or the Xbox in general !! If they just manage to have the Xbox working on instant on mode without having the fan of the ac adapter running all the time - it would be really cool ;)
  • Its still really upsetting to see the Kinect get pushed aside all because MS sucks really bad a PR and scared away customers from it.
  • That and they never released a killer app for it.
  • That, and no one really did anything with it that worked well except dance games and Kinect Party. That said, Kinect Party was so awesome for my kids that I would get an XB1 with kinect if they ever came out wit an updated version.
  • Good, the Kinect is mandatory for me with the Xbox one. It works flawlessly.
  • "But [Kinect's] place will be earned through the experiences that are out there and the developers that show interest."   Except the developers will never show interest as it's not a guaranteed accessory in the home.
  • They already sold tens of millions of them, if that isn't a big enough market for a developer to target, maybe it is because kinect just isn't that good.
  • Add Hololens as a second screen experience to Xbox.
  • It doesn't really sound like he's enthusiastic about Kinect...MSFT should lead the way with a few Kinect titles or incentivize third party development. Soo bipolar.. O.O
  • He's not. He's anti-Kinect. Him become head of Xbox was the worst thing that ever happened to Kinect. He completely threw it under the bus, didn't promote it at all despite finally have a wave of hit Kinect games this past fall, botched the launch of the standalone Kinect, which was out of stock more often than not for months and months, sabotaged Kinect bundle sales by discounting the non-Kinect SKUs but not the Kinect SKUs (which were never in stock anyway), refused to even say the word "kinect" at E3 or Gamescon last year, and hasn't announced any new 1st-party Kinect games in nearly a year. If he's telling the truth in this interview then he can prove it by announcing AAA Kinect games next month at E3; otherwise, he's just a lying politician. I have as much faith in him as I do Joe Belfiore leading Windows Phone, and that's not a compliment.
  • What were the hit kinect games last fall?
  • Just in the fall? Fantasia, D4, Dance Central Spotlight, and Just Dance 2015 were all excellent. There were also some okay niche ones like Shape Up, Rabbids Invasion, and Boom Ball Kinect.
  • I'd like to see the xbox supporting VR headsets like the oculus rift. They don't have to do it themselves but support would be nice.
  • i definitely prefer having it around rather than not. had to send mine in to get fixed and during that week, it was annoying having to double tap xbox button + x to record rather than just telling the xbox to record via voice. i had also grown accustomed to turning the device on and off as i'm walking toward the living room, or just pausing something without having to look for the remote. all pretty trivial things, and mostly voice, but convenient. they have an opportunity with windows 10 and cortana to make at least hte voice aspect of kinect more useful (if only it had better multidirectional mic). amazon echo listens and responds pretty well for example.
  • they better.... i expected much improvment for the kinect by now i own x1 since launch and only play xbox fitness, the times where kinect start behaving is hell
  • I love voice control for sure...oh and bring Kinect Party to the XBOX One
  • Kinect doesn't really belong in most games but it was worth the extra money for me for navigating the OS and voice commands. Maybe next Xbox will come with a built in Mic. That to me what have been a great combo and have the camera sold separately for Skype, dance games, broadcasting, etc
  • I have bought three secondhand Kinects recently, in total (Yes for all three) I paid £100 (Maybe $160) as so many people don't understand how good or powerful they are, I put one on my wife's Xbox One, another on my lads, and the third on a PC (OK I had to stump up £30 for the adapter), so we now have 4 Kinects in the house. If nothing else it makes a fantastic web cam for Skype. Unfortunatly on the PC side of Kinect even MS haven't figured out what they are for as there are no drivers and you have to search high and low for the software to make the Kinect work as a web cam. Kinect and Hololens between them could change how we live and work with a bit of imagination.
  • Bought the new xbox with Kinect in febuary, but I didn't reallize there wasn't many good games for it. Please develop more kinect games/experiecnes, please. Thanks.
  •    Ahhh, Kinect. Microsoft's abandoned step-technology. So much potenttial... wasted. And once the HoloLens comes out, it will probably be completely abandoned.
  • Hows has the tech been abandoned? The tech is in Hololens, in case you didn't know. What type of sensor do you think scans the room you're in?
  • Oh, good GRIEF!!!  I don't CARE about the Kinect making the entertainment experience better!  I did NOT buy my Xbox One for gaming.  I bought it to become a media nexus and, hopefully, a central hub for home automation.  THAT is the real potential.  Microsoft needs to partner with Vivint and other home security/automation companies to enhance the Kinect and Xbox One as mechanisms for voice and gesture control of all aspects of the home--not just media. Games should be such a minor aspect.
  • That's exactly what I do. The voice navigation in Netflix is horrendous. We also need "Xbox watch channel number..."
  • Why not giving it for free?