Microsoft officially started selling a Kinect-less Xbox One as an option at retail this week, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer feels the move will help sell more of the cameras in the long run.
Speaking with Polygon, Spencer said while such a philosophy may seem “backwards,” you have to “sell the console before you can sell Kinect.”
“Price point is important. I had to give people a choice when they come in to go buy a console, that we have a console that’s at a competitive price, that’s at an entry price for them,” he said. “And the $100 price drop isn’t trivial. We’ve got to be competitive with the Xbox One console, and then we’re going to allow people to add Kinect later when they can.
“They can buy it standalone. If they want to buy it day one, I still think that’s the best Xbox One experience over the long run, but giving them choice will let us grow the largest install base of Xbox One customers, and those who choose to, will actually add Kinect to it as well.”
Spencer said Kinect as an option is also good for developers. This way, studios are able to choose when to use Kinect as part of the experience and when not “and that’s the way it should be.”
“In terms of a specific focus to say, ‘Hey, you guys, you have to do something that requires Kinect.’ I’m not doing that. I’m saying you need to go make games that are great,” he offered. “We think Kinect adds functionality to the platform that makes games better, and developers will use that when they think it will make their game better.
“I think it’s great because people see it as an outlet for creativity, whether it’s immersion, whether it’s voice integrated in some interesting way, whether it’s gesture.”
An Xbox One without Kinect will run you $399/£349, and a standalone Kinect will be offered in the fall.