Developer working on Xbox One team confirms that expensive Kinect 2.0 hardware is the reason behind Xbox One’s relatively expensive pricetag.
Two days ago on Reddit, a person claiming to work on the Xbox One development team created an AMA post – Reddit lingo for ‘community-driven interviews’ – on the Xbox One community where they answered pressing questions from the community, as much as their NDA allowed. Said person didn’t publicly reveal their identity since that could cost them their job, however they did verify things privately with moderators of the Xbox One.
User nkripper asked, “What do you feel is the best feature of the XB1 that people have little knowledge about?” to which XboxOneDev replied:
The majority of the masses care only about the console, except that the success of the Kinect carries much more weight to us. The sensor costs almost as much as the console to make.
Packing in the Kinect 2.0 with every console means developers can use the phenomenal body and voice tracking sensor to its fullest, without worrying about the userbase (as was the case with Xbox 360). This will certainly result in more innovative gameplay mechanics down the road, but right now it means that the $499 Xbox One is noticeably more expensive than its nearest rival – the $399 PlayStation 4.
Let’s not forget the fact that Microsoft could have pumped all the money into making the Xbox One faster, instead of forcing Kinect on every user.