Microsoft has finally admitted that people don’t really make much use out of the Kinect. A new dashboard update is arriving this week for owners of the console, which will drop Kinect gestures entirely for interface navigation, Microsoft admitted that it decided to do this as usage was “very, very low”, though voice commands will remain intact for now.
Gestures have been present on the Xbox One since its launch, allowing users to flick through the various menu screens and return home with the use of their hands and the Kinect camera. Speaking with Windows Central, Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra said: “On gestures, when we looked at the New Xbox One Experience we wanted to prioritize features that customers were asking for, plus areas of improvement from the existing Xbox One UI”.
“Then, we wanted to look at the use-case model of features that take a lot of investment and say, ‘is it worth continuing to invest in that area? With gestures, the reality was the usage was very, very low. So for now, we’ve cut that from the New Xbox One Experience. So when we launch on the 12th, they won’t be in the product. We’ll continue to monitor and listen to feedback to see if people want them in.”
So Kinect gestures are out for now, though Microsoft is open to bringing them back should demand creep up. This is just another example of Microsoft stepping away from the Kinect, ever since unbundling it from the console last year.
KitGuru Says: As an Xbox One and Kinect owner myself, I can say that I rarely use the sensor. I have tried to get gestures working before but to no avail, voice commands also have a low success rate. It’s no surprise that Microsoft is moving away from the sensor, though this is the first time it has actually admitted to low usage, which is a slight change of pace.