The Kinect was one of the biggest success stories for Microsoft of the last console generation.
So, guess what? To use the next Xbox, you’ll need to have its successor connected!
This comes courtesy of an in-depth look at the supposedly final specs of the system given to Kotaku:
…the new version of the Kinect motion-control sensor array will be included with every Durango sold. The unit seems far superior to the one currently found for the Xbox 360 (or the PC, for that matter).
Perhaps most importantly, this isn’t an optional accessory. It’s mandatory. Not only does a Kinect ship with every console, but it must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to even function.
As ridiculous as this sounds, consider that first of all it’s a pack-in, so at least you don’t have to buy it on top of a console that’ll cost at least $350. Secondly, consider that Microsoft has made it pretty clear they want to put a holodeck in every household.
The system will apparently still come with a controller, similar to the others that have come before. But it’s pretty clear Microsoft will be expecting developers to make use of the Kinect, which also offers us some perspective on all those first-party games they’re keeping under wraps.
That said, we can’t help wondering what, precisely, this will mean to the system’s popularity. The Wii was pretty notorious for Nintendo being the only company to get the full use out of its controls, and Kinect integration hinges on things like gesture recognition and voice recognition, which Microsoft has made great strides in, it must be said, but on the other hand, well… this strip sums up the problem many gamers ran into.
The console wars get curiouser and curiouser. The PlayStation 4 is unlikely to have a Kinect-type input, meaning we’ll have three very different console experiences on the market in fairly short order. 2013 is shaping up to be one strange year for gaming.