Prominent game designer and ex-Microsoft employee Peter Molyneux is none too impressed with the Xbox One’s improved Kinect.
Speaking to Edge, Molyneux expressed no small amount of dissatisfaction with the peripheral, expressing a desire for Microsoft to release a cheaper model without the camera.
“I actually wish Kinect wasn’t a requirement,” he said. “It feels like an unnecessary add-on to me. Maybe it’s because we’re in England, and it doesn’t really use the TV stuff, but it feels more and more like a joke. My son and I sit there saying random things at it, and it doesn’t work. They could cost-reduce it [by removing Kinect]. I’m sure they’re going to release an Xbox One without Kinect. It would be unthinkable that they wouldn’t.”
Molyneux is far from the only person to criticize Microsoft’s decision to bundle the updated Kinect with the Xbox One, but his perspective is unique given his close ties with Microsoft. Before leaving to work at a new independent studio, 22Cans, he served as the creative director of Microsoft Game Studios, Europe and the MS-owned Lionhead studios. He was even working on a Kinect title of his own, the now infamous Milo and Kate. That game never saw the light of day, though Molyneux later said technological limitations weren’t the primary factor behind its cancellation. Instead, he blamed it on an industry that wasn’t ready for such an emotionally driven experience.
Despite repeated criticism and rumors of a cheaper, Kinect-less Xbox One, Microsoft has repeatedly denied any plans to that end. In fact, in the very same Edge piece, newly appointed Xbox head Phil Spencer seemed to shoot down the idea that a Kinect-free model was high on his list of priorities—though he didn’t go so far as to rule out the option in the future.
“We’re always trying to match what consumers are asking for,” he said. “I always want to make sure that we’re in tune with what current or potential customers are asking for from us. Right now, [dropping Kinect is] not the number one request from people.”