Could the PS4 vs Xbox One console war be turning around? After removing the Xbox One Kinect from the basic bundle and dropping the price to match the PlayStation 4, Microsoft has begun to see their sales rise.
It seems the Kinect 2.0 was the dead weight keeping the Xbone down, according to some developers. If Microsoft could just sneak in some more processing power so the Xbox One could occasionally outperform the PS4, it might help, though it would certainly make it less energy efficient than it already is.
Early fears over the Xbox One Kinect made the peripheral look like a tool for the NSA and other government intelligence agencies due to its “always on” requirement to fully function. These fears were fueled by the idea that the console requires regular DRM checks to make sure that the games you have installed are really yours. Combine this with the Kinect 2.0 being basically a high tech webcam, and you have what looks like Microsoft’s attempt to “watch” you every time you enter the room.
The Kinect was apparently a big reason behind Sony’s domination so far in the PS4 vs Xbox One console war. It may have been a potentially awesome peripheral, opening up the Xbone to voice and hand gesture commands, but our fears over being watched by our own consoles helped keep Sony in the lead.
Now two reasons for that lead are gone. The Kinect is out of the basic bundle, and as a result, the price is now the same as the PlayStation 4. Aside from processing power, most of Sony’s edge is gone.
Xbox One just dumped us out of watching TV and into making a Skype call without any voice or gesture command. Because Kinect.
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) February 19, 2014
Kenny Lee, co-founder of Cell Door Games, has weighed in with his thoughts on the Kinect’s role in the Xbox One vs PS4 console war:
“Honestly, I thought having a Kinect included in the Xbox One was a great idea. Not so much the always-on, creepy privacy invasion though. As a developer, it’s fantastic to work on hardware that you know everybody has. And the Kinect is an incredible piece of technology. But now that the market is fragmented, it’s harder to justify investing in this tech. So when I heard the news it [saddened] me a bit, although to be fair I don’t think developers were jumping on it as readily as Microsoft had anticipated.
“I do believe it will help regain lost ground with consumers, which in turn strengthens developer confidence in the platform. The biggest problem is the Kinect came out of the gate with a bad rep. It was always watching you, there were [rumors] of companies exploiting the tech, and it made the Xbox One cost more than the PS4. Getting rid of that solves a lot of problems.”
Has the PS4 vs Xbox One console war turned in Microsoft’s favor? Has the Xbox won?
[image via pixelenemy]