Last month, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One console would be available with or without Kinect. According to Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, that shouldn't be taken as a sign that the company has lost any faith in the device. According to Spencer, consumers love Kinect, and they'll buy it one way or another.

Spencer spoke of the company's continued interest in Kinect in an interview with GamesIndustry International. According to Spencer, people have used Kinect's voice commands more than a billion times. "And because people are continuing to use it, it's an area we're going to continue to invest, in terms of making the experience better," he continues. "And I think that makes building games in that environment even better. Consumers love the device; they love the experience. They'll buy it. They'll either buy it at launch when they buy their console, or they'll be able to buy it after the $399 console; they'll pick it up and add it on later. And we'll continue to make sure that experience is great."

The Xbox One version of Kinect will be available as a standalone product sometime this fall, though Microsoft has yet to talk specifics on pricing or release date. Removing the device allowed the company to shave $100 off retail, so it wouldn't be surprising to see it sell around that price.

[Source: GamesIndustry International]


Our Take
Microsoft finds itself in the awkward position of boasting about how great Kinect is while also giving people the choice of forgoing it altogether. It'll be interesting to see how Microsoft plans to lure people into buying the device later this year. Saying "Xbox, record that," is a neat trick, but is that convenience worth a separate purchase?