How Mandatory Kinect Could Be Trouble For Xbox And PlayStation

Microsoft continue to be the bad egg in the next generation console race. With 180 after Xbox-180, Microsoft have changed their policies to closer match the desires of the consumer. Regardless, there's still one policy they are sticking with despite continuing backlash - Kinect will remain mandatory.

Sony however have remained steadfast in the mentality that consumers will get PlayStation 4 the way they want it. There will be no DRM. Games can be resold. PlayStation Plus will continue to offer great games for free, our PSN accounts will carry over seamlessly from PlayStation 3...

And PlayStation Eye will remain optional. Hmm.

Gamers have been crying out for a Kinect-less Xbox SKU since it was first announced as mandatory, but Microsoft are insistent that Kinect will remain an integral part of the console:

CVG: You want all developers to know that they can always implement Kinect technology because it always comes with every system. Would that be correct?

Harrison: Correct. 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.

How will this play out for Sony? If developers are creating games with Kinect in mind, how will this translate into development for PlayStation 4? Is there a danger of any magnitude that many developers will shirk the development of PlayStation 4 games purely because there is no guarantee that every PlayStation 4 owner will also have a PlayStation Eye? Might we see more Xbox exclusives for this reason? Could we see PlayStation 4 fall behind Xbox One as Kinect potentially climbs it's way to the top of the 'must-have' list?

Conversely, could there be danger of Kinect going largely unused in multiplatform development? Might we find that developers forego all of the bells and whistles of Kinect & Co. in favour of easier multiplatform development? Could it be that in enforcing Kinect and promising developers that it will be in every Xbox, we'll still find that it's mostly ignored anyway?

With three major platforms and only one of which guarantees Kinect-like features, is it far-fetched to assume that the gaming ecosystem over the next decade will experience another shift towards motion/voice controlled gaming? Will these new improvements to the Kinect generate the nudge it needs to reach popularity on-par with the Wii motion controller back in Holiday 2006?

When Viexi isn't writing articles, he's taking all of your questions and emails over at DanVXC@Gmail.com, or looking at his Pile 'o' Shame, wondering how he'll ever get around to playing any of it.