Xbox One could become more powerful without Kinect processing

Wednesday, 14th May 2014 10:58 GMT By Dave Cook

Microsoft’s Yusuf Medhi has confirmed that the firm is in internal discussions about how its dropping of mandatory Kinect requirements could free up more processing power for games. He’s also said that those early adopters who paid for Kinect have a “premium” experience.


We’ve got all the details on Microsoft’s Kinect u-turn and it’s new, cheaper Xbox One bundle for you to check out.

Speaking with Polygon, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for devices and studios Medhi said that the decision to drop Kinect from its bundles came after months of serious discussion, and that both developers and publishers were made aware of the change in advanced.

Except, it seems, Kinect developing studio Harmonix, who responded to the news with surprise on Twitter.

Speaking with the site, Medhi said, “We remain deeply committed to the Kinect as a core component of a next-generation console. We think that the bio-metric sign-in, voice controls of the menu, ability to say ‘record that’ and capture a moment of gameplay are all critical to the experience.

“We have never wavered from that since the launch.”

He added, “The decision we’re announcing today is offering a choice to people that would allow people to buy an Xbox One and then ramp up to Kinect when they can afford to,” and claimed, “We have over 80 million people who have yet to buy Xbox One.”

When asked if any compensation would be given to those early adopters who paid for Kinect, Medhi replied, “Our view is that the Xbox One with Kinect is the premium experience. The things you are able to do are pretty magical. I think that (early adopters) are hopefully delighted as well with their usage.”

Lastly, Medhi confirmed that Microsoft is now re-appraising Xbox One’s hardware architecture without Kinect, adding, “We are in discussions with our game publishers about what we might do in this space and we will have more to talk about soon.”

What do you make of the Xbox One Kinect u-turn? Let us know below.



  1. nostramo

    Should have picked up the titanfall bundle from amazon while it was on offer for £349

    #1 8 months ago
  2. CyberMarco

    “dropping of mandatory Kinect requirements could free up more processing power for games.”

    True! My uncle that works at Microsoft told me this a few days ago, just wait and see till they enable that hidden chip too.

    #2 8 months ago
  3. CyberMarco

    Also, “We have over 80 million people who have yet to buy Xbox One.”

    LOL hahahahahahahaha. Seriously can’t stop laughing! :P

    In fact, there are so many consumers that are dieing to get one… not!

    #3 8 months ago
  4. wamp

    well that means that they will alow developers to shut off kinect from the system. That means that someone playing a game that has disabled kinect won’t be able to use voice commands ect. Basicly it will be the same as unpluging the device. I don’t mind that, but someone could get pissed.

    Anyway right now they need to do the xbox one dashboard more controller friendly like the one on the 360. I would also a redisign like the “new xbox experience” from 2008, which highlited more the avatars and it was far more easy for me to see friend online, parties and what are they playing. Right now the avatars are gone. I don’t get it, because a lot of people bought stuff for them, in a sence they ware pioneering the cosmetic part of a free to play game now :)

    #4 8 months ago
  5. Joe Musashi

    Oh dear. Microsoft. Please stop this man from talking.

    Do it.

    Do it now.


    #5 8 months ago
  6. orakaa

    @4 : I was thinking exactly the same thing. If such a memory/computing power is freed, that would mean completely shutting off the “Kinect experience” (to switch from game to VOD or whatever).

    So it would either be a nightmare to work with (for developers), or very limited gain in the end.

    #6 8 months ago
  7. Fin


    Even if they could free up processing time, it’d create a second hardware SKU, splitting the userbase.


    #7 8 months ago
  8. Joe Musashi

    @7 I don’t think they’re talking about a second hardware SKU. I imagine, with some update in the future, the console could adapt intelligently – when it detects no Kinect connected put the OS resources earmarked for Kinect back into the pool.

    Whether any games would ever exploit a two-tiered resource system is another matter entirely. Deltas in a project’s development are never welcome.


    #8 8 months ago
  9. pukem0n

    they could build in an option to check that allows games to disable kinect.

    no need to split it into 2 SKUs.

    Also a disclaimer that shows up before you play a game that wants to disable kinect.

    this really isnt a big as a deal as you haters make it out to be.

    #9 8 months ago
  10. Hcw87


    What @8 said. They’ve stated in the past that the GPU has a 10% reservation for Kinect currently. How that will impact performance in the future is anyones guess though. Maybe going from 792p to 900p if we’re lucky (or another obscene number).

    #10 8 months ago
  11. Tormenter

    Yep, this will free up some processig power…. roll on 793p.

    #11 8 months ago
  12. tenthousandgothsonacid

    They still haven’t freed up the extra cpu power they said they would back in January yet. Next month apparently…

    #12 8 months ago
  13. ManuOtaku

    I hope they keep intact the aplications that allow the one turn my tv into an smart tv. I really dont have any problem with being inferior specs wise, power is not everything, ps1, Ps2 , wii demostrates this, is a sum of all parts and offerings that is important.

    #13 8 months ago
  14. mistermogul

    But I thought Xbone had the power of teh Cloud?!

    #14 8 months ago
  15. ddtd

    @wamp The voice commands are handled on the Kinect. It’s the camera that leaches off the X1′s hardware.

    #15 8 months ago
  16. Nintendo1985

    This is interesting news. But I wonder how much more powerful?

    #16 8 months ago
  17. Panthro


    They just need to optimise the cloud more and then after that it will run games better than any pc available, even mine which cost around $3000.

    Im not afraid to admit an xbox with the cloud is better then any pc because it is truth.
    with this the xbox will never even need a sequel xbox because it is going to be infinitely powerful.

    #17 8 months ago
  18. Tormenter

    Well considering that it’d be the cloud doing the actual processing that admission isn’t particularly magnanimous.

    I don’t like the shift to cloud based processing. In that scenario your own hardware doesn’t matter, you aren’t running anything (substantial) and you’ll be at the mercy of someone else’s computer (farms) for ANY gaming ability..

    Think online authentication DRM is bad now?.. It’s going to seem like a picnic in comparison.

    #18 8 months ago
  19. Fin

    Sorry I didn’t mean there’d be two actual SKUs, I meant for this to works, devs would have to specifically turn off Kinect in game (I guess this could work, but seems like a massive inconvenience to the user), or ensure the game ran correctly with Kinect both connected and disconnected (simulating two hardware SKUs – as one would be 10% more powerful).

    It’s bullshit in either case anyway.

    #19 8 months ago
  20. ddtd

    @Fin They would only have to turn off the camera. Voice commands are handled at a hardware level on the Kinect, so those will likely still be active.

    #20 8 months ago
  21. BrokenSpline


    SUre in theory but that won’t ever happen as long as the ISP cap and refuse to upgrade infrastructure to allow higher bandwidth. Plus as Tormenter has said you would be relying on someone else to have their hardware up and running to play the game. It will be the same shit as what happened with Diablo 3 and SimCity but much larger in scale. We have a long way to go until that is the norm.

    #21 8 months ago
  22. kingy

    NO really where is the “POWER OF THE CLOWD ” they just talk and talk and talk crap and lies crap and lies ,I’m not a hater I love my Xbox 360 but I can’t keep up with how fickle they are

    #22 8 months ago
  23. marporte

    So to getting rid of why x1 is the future of gaming will make it more powerful. Even if you leave the voice commands jumping between apps and other things will eat resources and what if you actually want to use the Kinect for Skype or chat. MS can say they are looking into it but how much better or powerful could it be

    #23 8 months ago
  24. ddtd

    @marporte They’re not ditching the Kinect. They’re just not forcing you to buy one with each console. So if you still want one, you can buy one.

    #24 8 months ago
  25. marporte

    @ddtd I figure they are not but the fact remains their system isn’t as powerful as the PS4 and Kinect was one of the driving reasons behind it. It just seems like they are up a creek with the hardware because you can’t add that much horsepower even if they deactivate Kinect resources or rely on cloud gaming to balance out power because the internet is not stable enough in the entire country.

    #25 8 months ago

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