Xbox’s UK marketing director Harvey Eagle has told TechRadar that the Kinect on Xbox 360 did not provide experiences as rich as Microsoft would have hoped, but that the Xbox One‘s motion controller will be a huge step on.
Eagle, speaking at the first official UK showcase of the console, responded to TechRadar’s question about how the new Kinect would improve on the often tacked on feeling of interactivity in the prior generation to become a vital part of the user experience.
"With the Xbox One, content and game creators generally know that [Kinect] is there and can start generating content that is more predictable for everybody that owns an Xbox and that’s an important difference," he said.
"With things like voice and gesture, which work much better on Kinect for Xbox One, it’s a much more integral part of the platform that it ever was previously when it was a peripheral, an add-on, and game creators didn’t necessarily know it was there.
"The [previous] experiences haven’t been as rich as we would have hoped so we’re changing that and that’s why we bundled it with the Xbox One and why we believe it’s integral to the box.
"It’s part of the user interface and for some tasks it’s the best way to access them. If you want to switch between different functions and actions on the Xbox One of the fastest ways to make that happen is just to tell the box and it instantly does it.
"You don’t have to look for a remote, you don’t have to switch inputs you don’t have to switch devices you don’t have to call up menus: We think there are fundamental differences to the way the Kinect will work for Xbox One."
Sony has chosen not to bundle the PlayStation Camera with the PS4, something that keeps the price lower but does mean that developers will have to be mindful about making motion control integral to games – especially cross platform ones.
The PS3 was more costly, and more delayed, because of the inclusion of a Blu-ray player, something that caused huge problems at the time, but slowly became an important plus point for the console.
Microsoft may well hope that Kinect’s killer features can be as successful for Xbox One, and that people will be prepared to stump up a little more cash for the extra functionality.