Ben Kuchera writing for Polygon:
The real story though, or at least the lack of story, is that the Kinect is well and truly dead.
When the Xbox One launched you couldn’t buy one without a Kinect. Microsoft knocked it out of the park with their E3 announcements today, but missing was any mention of the Kinect. They’re also dropping the price on the Xbox One bundles which don’t come with it, but not on the ones that do. I don’t know if “dead” is the right word, but it’s certainly on life support.
Having used an Xbox One both with and without a Kinect, I think it’s kind of a shame that the Kinect hasn’t done better. Without it the Xbox interface is kind of hard to get around. With it, it’s great. I use the voice commands to pause video, raise or lower volume, use the snap feature, and go to apps all the time.
I don’t see how anyone who’s used an Xbox One both ways could not prefer having a Kinect. That’s not enough though. It’s still not strictly necessary, expensive, and doesn’t make the games themselves any better (which is the reason people buy game consoles). Microsoft had a cool thing that they did a bad job making a case for, and now it’ll probably just kind of fade away until it’s axed in the next console revision.
Oh well. We’ll always have this bullshit vaporware promotional video of the first Kinect from 2009: