Microsoft is confirming, once and for all, that the Xbox One will not sell without the Kinect.
The company recently announced that, while the system would not rely on the Kinect for normal operation, it would still be packaged with the console. Corporate Vice President Marc Whitten said the Kinect would enhance the functionality, but isn't required. Many of the console's features will be disabled if the Kinect is not used, but it won't impact gameplay or entertainment content.
Wednesday, the company further dismissed speculation that the console would be sold without the Kinect in future bundles.
"Xbox One is Kinect. They are not separate systems. An Xbox One has chips, it has memory, it has Blu-ray, it has Kinect, it has a controller. These are all part of the platform ecosystem," Phil Harrison, a Microsoft corporate vice president, told CVG.
The Kinect is also a major factor in why the Xbox One costs $100 more than the PlayStation 4, which will retail for $399. But its inclusion has been a point of contention with gamers, along with several other ill-received features such as the now-reversed "always on" policy. However, Harrison believes the Kinect enhances the Xbox One experience.
"I have an Xbox One at home, and being able to walk in and say 'Xbox on,' and for the system to recognize me, launch and load my profile, and put my choices of content on the font page is a very magical experience," he said. "It makes you think about your relationship with technology in a slightly different way. It's personal. It makes you think, I wish more devices would do this."
Harrison also said that he has tried the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality head-mounted display, and that the technology is something that Microsoft would like to use on the Xbox.
"There's high-speed USBs on the back of the console that allow for high-speed data transfer, and our platform is designed to be open and extendable. But we have no particular plans at the moment," he said.