The Kinect being unbundled as a compulsory part of the Xbox One package, so folks can buy just the console on its own from next month, has been a widely cheered move for consumer choice – naturally enough – but there have been some voices of dissent.
We even added our own in a recent article: Microsoft divorcing Xbox One and Kinect – the reasons why this split hurts.
However, Phil Harrison, Corporate VP for Microsoft in Europe, has come out to state that he believes the Xbox One and Kinect split will lead to more games for the console.
For the simple reason that with a Kinect-less console, Redmond will sell more hardware units, which will prompt more interest from developers, and hence more games. It's a fair enough point.
Harrison told OXM Microsoft was giving gamers "a choice about how they want to enter the Xbox One ecosystem, by offering them a version of Xbox One both with and without Kinect. And fundamentally that is good for opening up the Xbox One ecosystem – the more consumers who buy Xbox One, it's a virtuous cycle for more developers to make and more consumers to play games, and that is what we're committed to achieving and continuing."
He also took the time to underline the fact that Redmond was still "committed to Kinect as the premium way to experience the Xbox One vision". But the world of Kinect will see an inevitable watering down, that's an obvious enough prospect.
We're also still concerned – as we mentioned in our Xbox and Kinect article linked above – that the UK pricing won't see that much discount for the loss of Kinect compared to the US. Currently, the difference between the Kinect and non-Kinect bundles going by Amazon pre-orders is a princely £30 saving (whereas it's $100 in the US – spot the difference).
We may end up getting the short end of the motion controller this side of the Atlantic, but let's hope not.