In a recent interview with Polygon, Mike Nichols, chief marketing officer for Xbox, indicated that the “vast majority” of Xbox One users who have the Kinect peripheral still use it. While he didn’t go into actual numbers, he went on to say that those who do use it, do so quite frequently.
“Overall, we don’t break down how many console users have Kinect and how many don’t,” said Mike Nichols, chief marketing officer for Xbox. “That’s a level of granularity we don’t want to get into.
“I can say that the people with Kinect still make up a very, very sizable portion and that those people do use it quite frequently. Less for games, but a lot more for biometric sign-in and user interface.”
What exactly entails “use” is unknown, as the Kinect is used for everything from using voice commands to turn your console on and off, navigate to different games and apps, and can even automatically log you in when it detects your presence in the room. It is quite possible that many users setup their consoles when Kinect was bundled and necessary to use the console and haven’t disconnected it since. Either way, I know that I find Kinect useful, and the kids love using it to turn the Xbox One on and off, or pause and play their shows while watching movies and TV.
Of course, when Kinect was required, Microsoft only had one set of system logic to program for, now it has to take into account the fact that some Xbox Ones have the Kinect and others don’t. Nichols didn’t seem fazed by this though, even with the launch of the New Xbox One Experience (NXOE) just around the corner.
“It’s not unlike the situation with Xbox 360, when we added Kinect and you had to design for with and without systems,” he said. “That same part of the decision trees exists now.”
Speaking of the NXOE and Kinect usage, one of the new features that is slated to launch next year on the Xbox One is Cortana integration. Initially, Cortana integration on the Xbox One was only going to be supported on those systems that had a Kinect connected, however it now appears that it will work with those wanting to use it with a headset as well — something a lot of users where asking for in the feedback forums.
“When Cortana comes to the Xbox One – the voice or text search AI is scheduled for a preview sometime this year – it will include Kinect support. You’ll also be able to use it with a headset and microphone or by typing in your search,” he said.
Another feature that has seen little use in the NXOE preview testing is gesture controls, and Xbox will be removing that functionality from the console as well.
What do you think about the statement from Xbox regarding Kinect usage? Do you use it? Are you glad to see Cortana getting headset support? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.