Xbox One Kinectless SKU "Not Going to Happen" says Xbox One Lead Planner
Earlier today Microsoft made an announcement that Kinect 2 that comes bundle with Xbox One is no longer mandatory for the functioning of the console and all core features will be available regardless of whether the sensor is connected.
Immediately after the announcement a sense of rage erupted among Xbox fan base accusing Microsoft that they has lost their vision with Xbox One and a Kinectless Xbox One SKU is on the card.
Microsoft PR representative Albert Penello has came out in open and ensured fans that neither Microsoft has lost their vision nor Kinectless Xbox One SKU is going to happen.
Addressing fans on NeoGaf, Albert Penello said:
"I expected some commentary on this, but the direction it went surprised me.
The part that surprised me the most is the belief that we've somehow "lost our vision" or that we are "radically different" from what we announced.
Are we listening and adjusting the plans? We are. Are we making some concessions in areas where people have strong feelings? We are.
Are we altering our vision or losing faith? No.
We made one policy decision that was a major reversal around digital rights vs. physical media. It was the only time major features were changed, like family sharing, and some of the online check-in stuff that was related to it. It was the right call.
If you go back to the Unveil and E3 conferences, today's announcement doesn't change or diminish what we've said we were doing at all. All we said today is that we weren't going to brick the box if Kinect was unplugged. People making a leap thinking that means we've completely disconnected Kinect from the system would be wrong.
Once you guys experience the console, some of the criticisms may be valid, and many won't. The controller will not be the best way to navigate the dash - things like instant switching, snap mode, sign-in, and search are going to be vastly superior with Kinect. There is no controller UI that will beat "Xbox, Snap Skype", or "Xbox, Go to Killer Instinct".
The idea that the controller is the best way to navigate makes sense in reference to Xbox 360, but it's not true in Xbox One. You can completely control the dash with a controller, but many cases are deprecated versions of how it will work with voice.
If we were to remove Kinect from the bundle, then THAT would be a 180... but it's not going to happen. This was a very minor policy change, for people who had privacy concerns or repair issues. As someone earlier stated, my guess is that very few people will take advantage of the feature. But knowing it's there as an option is important.
Anyway, that's all my commentary on this. Bowing out for the evening."