In an interview out this week, Microsoft executive Mike Nichols says that there are large amounts of Xbox One owners using the Kinect for Xbox One sensor. He then confirms that the company plans on giving users one less reason to. With the launch of the New Xbox One Experience, Microsoft will kill-off gesture support in the entire Xbox One dashboard.
“I can say that the people with Kinect still make up a very, very sizable portion and that those people do use it quiet frequently. Less for games, but a lot more for biometric sign-in and user interface,” tells Polygon in the interview. The two are discussing the amount of people who use the Kinect sensor to interact with the Xbox One. Originally, Microsoft billed the Kinect for Xbox One as something that could level the playing field for different types of users. It was a way to make it easier for the entire family to start a casual game or switch a channel without picking up the button and trigger-laden Xbox One Wireless Controller, which could be confusing for some.
Nichols says that the reason gestures aren’t working in the New Xbox One Experience is that Microsoft is planning on dropping support for the feature entirely.
“That [Gestures] currently exists in the Xbox One experience, but we found so few people use it,” Nichols said. “Why should we keep designing for that scenario?”
What Nichols misses is Microsoft’s pretty poor way of introducing gesture support to Xbox One owners in the first place, but that’s a different problem. The issue Microsoft will face in the immediate future is a small backlash from users who liked being able to select movies or navigate the Xbox One experience without picking up any physical controllers or their voice. Microsoft requires that users download updates to their Xbox One the moment they connect to Xbox Live. It’s unclear how Microsoft plans to educate users about the missing feature, if at all.
There’s already a request on the Xbox Feedback website to get the feature back.