In the beginning, Microsoft vehemently claimed that there can be no Xbox One without the Kinect. To any and all who would listen, the “mandatory”, “vital” and “integral” piece of equipment was touted as the greatest thing to happen to console gaming since the wireless controller. In fact, prior to the Xbox One release, Microsoft stated that the console will not even function without a Kinect connected to it.

Then they changed their mind.

The Xbox One family

Still, Kinect was marketed a crucial and inseparable accessory even post-launch. Speaking to CVG, Microsoft’s corporate vice president Phil Harrison said that “Xbox One is Kinect”. Microsoft’s senior director of product management and planning Albert Penello expressed to Ars Technica that the Kinect is as “fundamental to the platform as the controller is in many ways”. No way would an Xbox One be sold without the Kinect.

Then they changed their mind.

A month ago, Microsoft has confirmed what gamers everywhere have been speculating: a Kinect-free Xbox One bundle will, in fact, be available. Along with a Kinect-free bundle, a price drop for the Xbox One itself has also been announced, to match the cheaper much more successful PlayStation 4. How much, exactly, is “much more successful”, you ask? According to market research company NPD Group, the gap is in the 50% range in favor of the PS4.


Now, a week after the Kinect-free Xbox One bundle has hit the markets, it seems another blow to the Kinect is inevitable: not only can the mandatory, vital and integral accessory be disabled by developers using the new Xbox Development Kit, doing so frees up a sizable 10% of the console’s GPU power for other tasks – running games, for example.

In the end, where does it really leave the Kinect? It is by no means vital nor integral. Apart from a select few titles, it is not even mandatory. It is yet another “game changing” move by Microsoft…

Then they changed their mind.

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