Microsoft caved to the inevitable two months ago and made the Kinect an “optional accessory.” So, how has the newly single Xbox One been doing? We’ll give you one guess.
The funny part about all this is Microsoft’s press release. It simultaneously trumpets the fact that dumping the Kinect has doubled sales while trying to pretend it totally wasn’t the Kinect holding back their sales numbers:
Over the past month, we’ve seen a strong spike in interest in our Xbox One console options, including the new $399 offering, and the amazing lineup of games announced during E3. Since the new Xbox One offering launched on June 9th, we’ve seen sales of Xbox One more than double in the US, compared to sales in May, and solid growth in Xbox 360 sales.
It makes sense that they’re not just going to come out and admit that the Kinect was keeping them from being fully competitive, not least because both consoles have been selling by the crate. And yet they’re only delaying the inevitable.
The Kinect was the entire foundation of a rather ambitious attempt to reshape the American living room, an attempt that Microsoft seems to be tacitly admitting hasn’t worked. And there were definitely some corporate partners who were counting on promises of the new Microsoft-controlled living room — where used games were tightly price-controlled and cable providers could keep their bundles forever — being wildly popular. That means some corporate “readjustments” and possibly a loss of features.
In fact, we may already be seeing the fallout of Microsoft’s failure of ambition. Still, in the end, it looks like we’re all better without Kinect.