It's emergency podcast time! Microsoft, having just announced that they're to unbundle the Kinect camera from the Xbox One in an upcoming console package, are put under the microscope of scrutiny in today's discussion.
We ask if Microsoft has shot itself in the foot with the latest u-turn, we ponder over just how much of a slap in the face this is for early adopters, we wonder if the last year has been an enormous waste of time and money, and we think upon the price cut this will no doubt mean for the camera-less option and see how it might fare up against the PS4 going forwards.
Has Microsoft done the right thing? Will this allow the Redmond company to just focus on the games in the near future with E3 around the corner? Are you happy about this as a consumer or disappointed that MS didn't stick to its guns and lied through their teeth for the past year?
Is this the end of Kinect? Do we give a badger's chestnut either way? Hit play to listen to us chat excitably about all of this and more in today's emergency podcast!
Lionhead's creative director Gary Carr has spoken out saying that Microsoft's multiple u-turns show that rather than being the "aloof" and "removed" company that their reputation might suggest, the company is listening to its fanbase.Click here to read more...
Another week, another Xbox One U-turn. Wait, I'm sure I've written that sentence before.
This week, though, comes the revelation that Kinect is completely optional.
"Like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor,” Xbox One architect Marc Whitten has revealed. “You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings. When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information. Any functionality that relies on voice, video, gesture or more won’t work. We still support using it for IR blasting in this mode."
“You can turn the sensor back on at any time through settings, and if you enter into a required Kinect experience (like Kinect Sports Rivals for instance), you’ll get a message asking if you want to turn the sensor back on in order to continue.”
Over the course of the past month or so, Microsoft have basically spent their time contradicting their big Xbox One reveal. After all, that was a presentation all about how incredible it would be to have a console that was always connected, linked with a camera that was strikingly more powerful than that of this generation, affording Xbox customers functionality that could not be found anywhere else.
Of course, that might still prove to be the case. There'll undoubtedly still be a whole bunch of things you can do with this super-powered Kinect device if you have it that will delight gadget hounds no end. For the record, many gamers I've spoken to have been rather more excited about the futuristic possibilities of a console so intrinsically linked with this superior Kinect tech.Click here to read more...
That's right, folks: it's time for another Microsoft U-Turn! Though the Xbox One will still ship with Kinect as standard, the console will function if you don't plug the sensor in or fully deactivate it from the settings menu.Click here to read more...
Another week, another Microsoft u-turn, maybe even two if the rumours are true about the Redmond company readying a Kinect-less console for Summer 2014 at a price that will undercut the PS3. But today is all about indie games. There was to be no self-publishing on Xbox One, we were all told, preparing ourselves for another generation of Microsoft exacting an extra firm grip on the gateway for developers wanting to publish on their platform. The reasoning has always been that a high, expensive bar with backing from an established name means that only wheat will arrive on XBLA, with the chaff remaining to push their noses up against the digital window.
But we live in an age of Steam and Android and iOS, of variable price points across diverse range of digital platforms. Microsoft can scarce afford to be so naive and conservative when it comes to their digital offerings. As we have already seen, the talent will simply go elsewhere.
But after performing a hilariously clunky 180-degree turn when it came to DRM and daily online requirements, it would appear that Microsoft have listened to the outpouring of developer discontent. It was forged in the media, of course, a long line of established names such as Retro City Rampage's Brian Provinciano, Jonathan Blow, and (perhaps most damningly) Lorne Lanning souding off against the Xbox One. Sony welcomed us with open arms, came the message, but Microsoft didn't want us.
There's previous beef there, and Provinciano in particular holds a serious grudge (though not without reason) when it comes to Microsoft, but that message has been destructive, and Microsoft have been unable to respond sufficiently. Moreover, when the company has moved to do something positive, the good news has been whisked away from underneath them, stolen by sources who've leaked the news eagerly and not allowed Microsoft to savour their own thunder.Click here to read more...
Microsoft has pulled off another screeching policy U-Turn, announcing that independent developers will in fact be able to self-publish on the Xbox One after all. Studios can even unlock standard retail consoles to become dev kits, which is a very forward-thinking step.
However, the service itself may be somewhat limited.Click here to read more...