When Phil Spencer took over the Xbox division, the Kinect seemed to drop off as an important peripheral over night. Soon after, a Kinectless Xbox One bundle came out and few games have featured the device since.
In a new interview with Edge (via GamesRadar), the Xbox boss opened up about the peripheral speaking enthusiastically about the device. For starters, he doesn't believe it has been 'abandoned' by the company.
It's not abandoned. We just developed Upload Studio 2.0, which has green screening that you can do with Kinect. We'll continue to build functionality to make it a valuable part of the ecosystem. That said, price point's really important for the console – we saw that over the holidays in the UK and US, where we did well when we dropped the price, which was great. And I want to make sure consumers have choice on how much they value the functionality of Kinect when they buy a console.
However, Spencer is less optimistic about the future of Kinect functionality in upcoming games. He admitted:
The teams continue to look at ways that Kinect makes the entertainment experience better. I'd say the area that hasn't really landed – and I don't know if it will – is, 'Is Kinect integral to all of the core gaming scenarios on our console in terms of minute-to-minute gameplay?' There are genres where Kinect works really well, but if you're playing Halo or Call Of Duty, there's not really a scenario that says, 'Hey, I need a Kinect.'
This is a smart approach I feel. While I don't believe the Kinect can be an integral part of a gaming experience unless built in from the ground up, I don't think it's worthless. The UI advantages are pretty neat and I know several people who enjoy using the device.
As for what the future hold for the peripheral? That is hard to say. We will have to wait and see on that front.