Xbox One hardware designer Carl Ledbetter said Microsoft once thought seriously of building Kinect into Xbox One, but current technology made it almost impossible.
Making Kinect part of the console would have made it a permanent fixture, and with the recent unbundling of Kinect, Microsoft would have had to issue a new console model.
“We actually built models [with Kinect]," Ledbetter told Develop. “We pushed ourselves, can we put it all in one? Is that going to work? And the technology just isn’t there yet. As soon as you have something much bigger than the Kinect sensor people don’t want to put it by the TV, it’s too big.”
Ledbetter also seemed pleased with the decision make Kinect and option instead of a requirement.
“It’s all designed together, it’s holistic. And in the version that consumers can buy that doesn’t include Kinect, it still all works,” he said.
“And so I think I share the same opinion that everybody does that by having more choice for the consumer, and a new point of entry for them, it’s great."
Starting June 9 in all markets where Xbox One is sold, consumers can purchase the console for $399/£349 without Kinect. A standalone Kinect will be offered in the fall.