A post on GamesIndustry from yesterday points the way back to a Reddit “Ask Me Anything,” or AMA, in which an anonymous (but verified) Microsoft developer offered up some details about the work being done to create the Xbox One console. Among the more interesting revelations: the new Kinect sensor, which is a required and packed-in accessory, costs almost as much to manufacture as does the Xbox One itself.
“The majority of the masses care only about the console. Except that the success of the Kinect carries much more weight to us. The sensor costs almost as much as the console to make.
The goal with having a Kinect ship with every Xbox is to guarantee to game developers if they implement Kinect features into their games, everyone who has an Xbox will be able to experience it. I often see people dismiss the Kinect instantly because they haven’t seen it work like I have. It is an integral part of the Xbox One experience.”
If nothing else, that should point to the Kinect working quite a bit better than the sensor of the current generation, which for its lifecycle has been plagued with inaccuracies and poor implementation. The most success the original Kinect had was with those who hacked into its guts and used it for their own purposes. As for games? Not so much.
But hearing that the new Kinect will cost a pretty penny (and is likely the main reason that the Xbox One costs $500, allowing the sensor-less PS4 to cost $400) at the very least might signify that the device will work a damn sight better. It may actually track your movements well, and may actually recognize your voice commands, and may actually be a worthwhile addition to your living room.
That said, if you’re not interested in motion-based gaming, you’re not interested in it. There’s a reason the Wii sold really well among non-gamers, and then didn’t get much or any support from third party developers. So far motion-based gaming has proven to be a very effective fad, and far from the video game revolution it was promised to be.