Xbox One Kinect: Does It Do Everything Microsoft Promised Four Years Ago?

The Xbox One Kinect was originally promised to be much more than it actually is. Despite all the hoopla, Microsoft’s camera peripheral only does some of what it was marketed to do.

If you’re happy with what it actually does now, you might be happier not knowing what you’re missing. For those curious about what Microsoft originally intended for the Xbox One Kinect, read on.

The camera does know who’s there based on face and voice recognition. It’s one of the basic security functions. Step in front of the peripheral and say “Xbox on,” and it uses your voice and face to log you in automatically. It delivers on that promise.

In-game characters don’t follow you around the room with their eyes, but the Kinect does turn to get the best picture if you’re using Skype for a video chat. That promise may have been scrapped for more practical gameplay ideas like the full-body motion control. Unfortunately, much like the Xbox 360, the only game so far that uses full-body controls didn’t fare so well with the critics. Fighter Within was a flop, sitting at a score of 25 on Metacritic, the lowest score of all the launch titles.

Multiplayer local motion controls aren’t quite here yet, most likely because developers can’t find a game that makes it fun. We don’t know if this Xbox One Kinect function actually works yet.

You can’t scan in real-world objects to make them work in the game. It may be that the feature was just easier to nix in favor of simply customizing an in-game object. Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII) cosplay is just going to have to stay in the real world until the developers create it in the game.

You can’t share outside app content in Skype calls yet, though it may be possible in the future. You can start a video call by saying “Xbox call (name),” but snapping to Skype is impossible for now.

Full voice control is here, though in some cases you might find yourself needing to repeat commands. It might be easier just to grab the controller or the remote. You really don’t want to have to keep saying “Xbox volume up” over and over just because someone in the room is being too noisy.

In general, the Xbox One Kinect was expected to do more than it does now, but it still does everything better than its predecessor did