Will next Xbox require mandatory Kinect?

21:27, Feb 11 2013

The video game industry is one that thrives on rumour and speculation. It always has, it always will.

And as Sony's much-anticipated [probably] PlayStation 4 announcement event looms ever closer, the rumours, leaks and speculation is reaching fever pitch, some of it indicating what Microsoft has planned for its next console.

According to a report over at Kotaku, not only will the new console, codenamed Durango, be able to play multiple games at once and require game installations (perhaps in an effort to stop second-hand games from being used?) but "will only work when a much-improved version of the popular but divisive Kinect sensor array is plugged in". 

Kotaku says the source is someone who claims to have a pair of Durango development kits and the same person notes that the jump in graphical quality from the Xbox 360 to the new console is ""like going from playing Halo 2 on an original Xbox to playing Crysis on a powerful PC".

The Kotaku report doesn't mention anything about whether current Xbox 360 games will be backward compatible with the new console but it does note that "Xbox 360 controllers won't work with the Durango, as they use what Microsoft is calling a "new wireless technology".

The Kotaku source rattles off a whole host of other features that Durango is going to have - and they all sound impressive for a console - but if the mandatory Kinect connection is true for the next Xbox console to work, I have an isue with that. I don't want to use Kinect if I shouldn't have to - and I'm sure plenty of other gamers feels the same.


Make the next Kinect optional, not mandatory. Not every body wants to play motion-sensing games and talk to their TV. A lot of gamers just want to use a controller. If someone wants to buy a Kinect for their new console, let them pay extra for it.  Don't force gamers to buy one in order for their new console to work. 

As it is, I unplug the current Kinect when it's not in use (which is most of the time, actually) because - and I'm no conspiracy theorist - but I just don't feel comfortable with a device that has a camera and microphones inside it being on while I'm sitting in my lounge room watching TV.

As E3 gets closer, the rumours and speculation will reach fever pitch and more and more "sources" will trot out more information about the next-generation consoles. But what do you, the consumer, think? Would you buy a next-generation Xbox if it required you to plug in Kinect to get it to work?

And while we're at it, as the console wars start to heat up, what are the most important features that you'll be looking for in a next-generation console?

* Update on the Game Junkie PC build: After a flurry of buying activity over the past few weeks (much to Mrs Game Junkie's dismay), I'm almost ready to start building the Game Junkie PC.

I've now got mobo/CPU, hard drive, solid state drive, Ram, DVD drive, power supply, case and associated cables. I'm expecting a CPU fan to arrive from Ascent in the next day or two and then just need to buy a graphics card.

Of all the component, this, to be honest, has been the hardest decision to make: nVidia vs AMD? Geforce 660 or something a little older like a Radeon 7850?

Someone people I've talked to favour Radeon, others swear by nVidia.

Also, I'm floored with the prices of some top-end cards, which are $400-plus.

Maybe I'm out of touch with prices: it has been years since I last build a PC but, ultimately, I want the best bang for my buck.

I shall keep having discussions with myself and make a decision shortly.  I'll keep you posted.

Other stuff you might be interested in: Game Junkie is on Twitter and you can email him here. He'll even answer your emails, not get some smart robot to do it. He also has another gaming blog here, which was actually updated recently. You should check it out.