Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb addressed the Kinect’s future in his latest podcast.
“We are not discontinuing Kinect or support for it. We still have a whole team of folks working on that. But we want to give everybody who would like to get in on the Xbox One action an opportunity,” Hryb said.
Microsoft decided to unbundle the Kinect from the Xbox One earlier this month. The decision will go into effect on June 9th. The decision to ditch the Kinect comes as Sony has extended its sales lead by a sizable margin. Now, Microsoft can better compete with the Playstation 4 as the Xbox One will go on sale for $399. It does take away one of the biggest differentiating factors though for Microsoft. But, they saw the slowing sales and knew something had to be done to lower the price.
That “whole team of folks” got a little bit smaller today according to a report from Eurogamer. They are reporting that Rare, a Microsoft owned developer focused on Kinect, was hit with layoffs following the release of Kinect Sports Rivals.
Kinect’s penetration into gaming has always been a hard nut for Microsoft to crack. Microsoft needs to focus more on QOL applications such as Xbox Fitness and less on trying to get hardcore gamers to embrace it.
Microsoft plans to release a standalone Kinect later this fall. Price and release details have not been announced.