Microsoft Considered Building The Kinect Directly Into The Xbox One
‘We actually built models of that.’
The Xbox One and Kinect have had a rather rocky relationship- the Kinect was originally announced as a mandatory extension of the Xbox One, which would need to be plugged in at all times for the console to even function. As part of their now infamous backtracks, Microsoft eventually relented on that front, and let the console function even without the peripheral sensor.
However, they continued insisting that the Kinect was a mandatory part of the Xbox One experience, and that the console would never be sold without the sensor. Then, earlier this month, they went back on that as well, when they announced that a Kinect-less Xbox One SKU would be available, retailing for a significantly cheaper price.
None of this would have happened had Microsoft just stuck to the original plan, which had been to just build the Kinect into the console itself, Develop reports.
“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,” Xbox industrial designer Carl Ledbetter said.
That would have been interesting to see, although for Microsoft, that would have put them in a tricky position, considering that they wouldn’t then have had such an easy way to drop the price of the console as easily as they did.