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  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Wow this is a surprising turn of events. They've effectively killed off Kinect now for game developers. Reply
  • Eurasianman - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    ^ This. I am tired of Microsoft pulling 180s. Stick with your guns like a man.

    Or better yet, think before you speak.
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    The latter.

    What's funny is that at $399 without Kinect, it's still not a compelling purchase against the PS4... not that I would personally buy either one.
  • JeffFlanagan - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Of course it's a compelling purchase against the PS4. It will have exclusive games that can't be played on a PS4. I'll likely get a PS4 first, but I'm not going to be playing any Halo games on a PS4. Reply
  • Marthisdil - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Eh - Sony has Cinavia. As long as it's part of any of their consoles firmware, i'll never buy a Sony console. Reply
  • Sanyo M1 - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    So does the Xbox One...or any Blu Ray player since 2013. Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    No they haven't. Most developers aren't interested in Kinect, and those that are will not lose interest just because the device isn't bundled, or 360 Kinect games would not exist.

    It's only a subset of gamers that have any interest in Kinect. I'm in that subset, but I can still see that it was dumb to bundle Kinect and drive the console price up for people who will never use it.
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    The attach rate of system accessories is historically very low. If a developer wanted to dedicate any amount of time for Kinect, it's just not worth it now.

    This doesn't apply to cross platform games anyway, but for exclusives, every system would have had it so it would make sense to utilize it.

    Now it doesn't make any sense.
  • mrfunjitsu - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Incorrect. As Jeff pointed out there's still a big market for Kinect games. The people who will buy the Kinectless console were never the target market for Kinect games. Nothing has changed in that respect. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    I didn't mean dance around your room Kinect games. I meant exclusives like Titanfall that use Kinect for some purpose. I'm just not creative enough to know what that purpose may be, but for instance, Forza can use Kinect face tracking to let you look out the side window as you are driving by turning your head a bit.

    That kind of integration will certainly not happen now.
  • csroc - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Disappointing. Any hope for there to be a major push for software to use this will likely die with a fragmented hardware base.

    MS made a lot of missteps with the XBone but all the 180s are more disappointing to me than anything else.
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Considering how the Xbox One was already a just a fragment of the gaming market as a whole (PC, PS4, mobile being the far bigger fragments), I don't see how that changes anything much. Reply
  • csroc - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    It mattered because at least if you were developing for the XBone and wanted to take advantage of the Kinect you knew everyone had it, so it might be worth trying. Now you won't have that guarantee so why bother taking that risk? Reply
  • anandreader106 - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Death666Angel is correct. When developing a game across multiple platforms, it doesn't matter that every XB1 has Kinect because not every platform has a camera. Therefore, there's no real incentive to spend time on Kinect features that only benefit one system.

    csroc - You also make an interesting statement that I've always taken issue with:

    "It mattered because at least if you were developing for the XBone and wanted to take advantage of the Kinect you knew everyone had it, so it might be worth trying."

    Even if a developer was making an exclusive, they had the OPTION to develop for Kinect. They didn't have to. Even if a developer did make something for Kinect, it doesn't mean it was going to be a good implementation or fun. (I'm looking at you Ghost Recon Future Soldier!)

    The consumer should have the option to purchase a Kinect camera just like a developer has the option to make use of it.
  • mrfunjitsu - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Agreed. Developers of cross platform games want to develop once and move on. They don't want to create unique experiences for every platform (much as we'd like that not to be the case). That is the reason accessories have poor take up. The only common denominator across all the platforms is the gamepad. Reply
  • csroc - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    I should add, if there would ever be a killer Kinect app, having it on all the consoles would increase the chances of that coming to be. Reply
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Worse than that, Microsoft controls three of the currently available gaming platforms (PC/360/XB1).

    To be honest, the XBox should never have existed in the first place as a standalone platform. They should have made the first XBox live up to its name as the "DirectX Box" and used the same operating system (Windows), similar to what Valve is doing with their Steam Machines (which are just gaming-optimized PCs running desktop Linux).

    They're starting to move a bit more that way, at least, with support for running Windows apps on the XB1, but few people really use Windows "apps" in the sense Microsoft means (from the Windows Store).
  • Hrel - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Xbone* Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Where do you get your sales figures from? I haven't found any reports that back up your implication that the Xbox One is somehow an insignificant part of the gaming business. Reply
  • GeorgeH - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    They've also announced that they will no longer require a Live Gold subscription for Netflix, Hulu, and other media streaming services. That's a far bigger deal, as it was pretty ridiculous to position the One as an all in one entertainment device and then charge extra for access to subscription streaming services that have nothing to do with Microsoft.

    It's even more ridiculous when everything from my TV to my toaster can stream Netflix etc. without added fees, but the "OMG awesome media device" that is the One cannot.
  • knightspawn1138 - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    When I walked into a Costco less than 2 weeks after the Xbox 3 launched, and saw a pallet of unsold green boxes, I laughed and told my wife "I bet you that within 6 months, they're going to sell Xbox 3's without the Kinect." I've been laughing even harder since about 2 months ago when just about every retail Xbox 3 was being sold for $100 under MSRP (ie: Microsoft is trying to dump their backlog of consoles bundled with the Kinect in order to make retail space for the Kinect-free model). It's hilarious when you consider how many Kinects were just given away for free, and that the PS4 camera had been virtually sold out up until about 2 months ago. I'm so glad I bought a PS4 instead of an Xbox 3. Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Xbone* Reply
  • mrfunjitsu - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    look up Post-purchase rationalization Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Xbone* Reply
  • Bateluer - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    > We'll likely see Xbox 360-ish performance out of mobile silicon in the next 12 months.

    We've had that for a while. We'll likely exceed the Xbox One silicon performance by 2016.
  • anandreader106 - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Ya, I'm not sure what Anand meant by that. I thought mobiles were supposed to be indisputably faster this year with Adreno 420 and Tegra K1? Reply
  • smartypnt4 - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    I believe his point was that you can't buy either of those in an actual device right now. However, it'd have been more accurate to say "within the next 6 months" because we know that's the launch time frame for Tegra K1 and the Snapdragon 805 (with Adreno 420). Reply
  • Hixbot - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    This should make the Xbone actually $50 cheaper than PS4 in Canada. I'm starting to consider actually buying one, as Xbox exclusives interest me more. I'm still disappointed the Xbone is so underpowered. Reply
  • JoyTech - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Have you considered moving to a PC? I have a PS3 and was initially tempted to get new-gen consoles, but it seemed like a waste of money...given their average performance vs. latest PC. So, I am off to building a machine this summer! Reply
  • yhselp - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Here's hoping that Kinect support wouldn't suffer, although it probably would which is disappointing. Kinect functionality and its potential was a major differentiating factor for XBO and now it's gone... Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    yep kinect support will suffer. I still think it's the right move, they need to move more units and increase their market share to remain relevant. They held out as long they probably could.

    I would have bought kinect separately, I suspect many people will continue to buy it with kinect or buy it later. Having kinect was the main reason I got an xbox one in the first place, it's a unique experience you can't get anywhere else. It's not always the greatest experience, but I support it because my kids like it and I hope that one day stuff like kinect and VR will change the way the world works.
  • JoyTech - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Not buying Xbone or PSmore, have a PS3 and assembling a gaming machine this summer. Reply
  • hpglow - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Announcing this so far in advance is a poor move on MS behalf. Now all the buyers on the fence will wait for the price drop and Sony has time to formulate a response (possibly a small price drop). I'm not sure price parity will help MS as much as they think. A mid range pc with a budget gpu for $400 just doesn't excite me. I'll just skip this gen unless they suddenly cut the price to $199 or less. Reply
  • mrfunjitsu - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Sony won't want to create a price war. It would be a slippery slope. Reply
  • mrfunjitsu - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    This is all because there is a new head of the Xbox division, Phil Spencer. He's come in and put his stamp on things. Good move to be honest. He's addressed a market who have absolutely no interest in Kinect games, which is significant. But that doesn't mean there isn't still a big market who do want those games. It just so happens that they're not the kind of people who generally post on tech blogs. Reply
  • purerice - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    mrfunjitsu, every one of your posts is apologetic to the XB1... and you talk about others' rationalization. Let's face it. Microsoft made mistakes with the XB1 from the beginning.
    Ever since features and price of XB1 were announced, existing XB360 fans were outraged.

    Kinect was one of the key points of differentiation for XB1 and the marginal cost for MS is a few bucks per machine. They would have been better off financially and fanancially to do a combination of smaller price drop and game bundle than mere price cutting. Otherwise in terms of accounting, cutting Kinect essentially involves either a writedown of development costs or a lowered IRR of development costs as it will take longer to sell the units with Kinect to cover development.

    I have not purchased a console in over 12 years and don't plan on purchasing one any time soon, so let me say this objectively, Microsoft needs to stop what it's doing and start listening to consumers before angering more potential and existing customers. Nothing about this $100 off Xbox One is a good move. Stop trying to shill for others' mistakes. You just look bad. Unless of course you're getting paid to spew this in which case you're getting paid too much.
  • BadCommand - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Should have been called the XBox180. Always connected to the net- no no we didn't mean that. Restrict used games- limited restriction. Must have kinect, no kinect. I wonder what tomorrows flip of the coin will bring. Reply
  • TWolfe - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    It may be a 180, but I at least like the fact that they are listening to their customers! Reply
  • jimjamjamie - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    If the Xbox team wasn't so out-of-touch during development of the XBOne, none of these reactionary changes would have been necessary at all. Reply
  • Colin1497 - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    "The real tragedy in all of this is that both Microsoft and Sony appear to have hedged their bets a little too much with the Xbox One/PS4. I get the feeling that neither company felt the market for ultra high end consoles was all that solid to begin with, and instead aimed lower on the performance ladder than they did last round (relatively speaking)."

    Interesting. My take is that what they have done is set it up so that they can do more incremental upgrades while retaining backwards compatibility for the catalog. By keeping acquisition cost down, and keeping backwards compatibility, they make it easier for people to get on an upgrade treadmill. You could even see games that have a different render target on PS4.1 And XBOne.1, but are otherwise the same game, thinking something like this:

    PS4 games, play on PS4 and forward
    PS4+ games play on PS4 and forward but have features turned on with future consoles, release of these games can precede PS4.1 release, perhaps even some games out today would become PS4+ with an update. Most games at PS4.1 release would actually be PS4+ to hit the biggest target market, but this would be easier than developing PS3 and PS4 versions is at present since the platform is similar.
    PS4.1 games cannot be played on PS4, but everything moving forward.
    PS4.2, etc.

    Make it 3 years between consoles instead of 7. The "plus" game concept keeps the old hardware around as the entry level and all of this is enabled by basing everything on what is essentially PC hardware. PS4.1 could essentially be Puma (or some Puma derivative) and GCN 1.x with more ROP's enabled by a smaller process node. Essentially AMD could push out new silicon this year that would be a nice step up from the PS4/XBone SOC's at the same cost. Push that update out to Christmas 2016 and it is still a $399 box for the hard core guys that maybe can drive 4k TV's, even if the render target for the games isn't 4k and scaling is involved like we're seeing for 1080p on so many XBone games.

    Executed properly with the right developer plan and compatibility, a 3 year cadence could work.
  • hero4hire - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    I like the idea of a 4k upgrade in 3 years. The challenge is how to improve resolution without differences in hardware that would compromise the experience (esp multiplayer) between half generations. If you could get people on board to buy into the additional + features or segment games into 2 camps you'd be ok. That said consoles aren't pc gamers and a better system for some playing the same game would likely get far far far more backlash. As a pure resolution jump to 4k alone I think you could avoid this, create a halo product, and get high end early adopters.

    I'd like it to happen as we should see and know if 4k takes off by then and BOTH consoles could cash in.
  • dew111 - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    "In speaking with NVIDIA prior to the Tegra K1 launch their viewpoint is that the clock is ticking for when mobile SoCs can equal the performance of the new consoles."

    Uhh, if you want a 363mm^2 chip in your phone or tablet, go right ahead, nvidia (ok, they could probably cut that significantly, but multi-hundred mm^2 is still ridiculous). Unless consoles become wireless, they will always have the advantage of being attached to the power outlet and having plenty of room to dissipate heat. The Tegra K1 isn't even up to last generation consoles yet; it's pretty cocky to be talking about parity with this generation. As that clock ticks and mobile SoCs get smaller, so do console SoCs. Then they release a new generation of consoles and Poof! are faster again.
  • jimjamjamie - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    Nvidia's Shield is already running Half-life 2 and Portal on a £200 gizmo that's not much bigger than a console controller. Old games? Sure, but the Tegra 4 isn't the fastest mobile SoC anymore and it is clear that the mobile SoC space is evolving faster than x86 is.

    I think it would be short-sighted to dismiss the thought of console-quality visuals on mobile within the next few years. Even if the consoles can outpace the mobiles considering the fact that consoles are not so space and power restricted as you said, a portable device which near-console-quality visuals would surely be very appealing.
  • ruthan - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    My hearth is bleeding, i didnt expected this mobile performance is almost console performance crapp from Anand.

    Its simply not true and will not in 12,24 months.. Xbox360 is still ~200Watt device and even todays power efectivity is much better, mobile up to 10W device, realy arent 20x more power efective than 7 years old Xbox, they are far from that.
    If someone will tell me something else, i want to see numbers, all number, not only particular ones, which are on same level, but as results of some tradeoffs. From my developers experience, are mobile SOC pretty limited, for example in draw calls count, texturing speed. CPU side is generally better, but still not on same level, even in 12 months. Good example is Xbox360 / PS3 vs. Xbone/PS4, on CPU side is next gen 2-4times faster with similar 200W power consumation.
  • Manch - Monday, May 19, 2014 - link

    Thats just it. Not everyone had a kinect so developers wouldnt make anything where kinect was integral to the experience. It was always just a gee whiz ooo thats neat feature. Never would it become a standout feature. Only 25% of 360 users have a kinect. As a developer I wouldnt make the experience integral because then only 25% of the userbase could play the game. With the one, by bundling it into the system that guaranteed that the entire XB1 userbase had this feature so developers if they decided to make use of it and make it integral to the experience that was OK. Now that MS has done this, they just shafted their own product. @ $399 it may have price parity but it's down a notch performance wise. They should have just knocked it down to $399 with the kinect and took the hit. This would have made it competitive sales wise. Both consoles have exclusives so that is a wash. It's getting the console into the consumers hands and the games attach rate that matters.

    PS3 started to lose me when they started dropping features that i liked. MS if they keep gong down this road may lose me and other customers too.
  • mcbowler - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    ready for next next gen already. Reply

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