#1 Posted by Excast (1124 posts) -

..but how do we really have faith in them as a company when their initial vision was so wrong on so many levels?

I think that is my main problem currently and it was one that the guys just echoed on the Bombcast. The constant back peddling reaches a point where it becomes difficult to believe any plans these folks are laying out because they are changing from day to day. One day the system requires a daily internet check in. The next it doesn't. One day it has no headset. The next it does. One day you need to have the Kinect always hooked up to boot the system. The next you don't.

For whatever people want to say about how great these changes may be, and they are, they also shouldn't have needed to have been made in the first place. They stand in stark contrast to Sony who has been fairly consistent in their messaging. They aren't wildly thrashing around needing to roll back poor decisions every other week. It helps build a little more confidence that Sony actually has a solid plan and thought this thing out a bit.

If Microsoft was this wrong on so many aspects of the XBoxOne, it also sort of makes me wonder if they were on the ball when it comes to the hardware. Hopefully there aren't any serious issues with the launch equipment, but wouldn't that be a fitting end to the utter mess that this system's unveil has been?

#2 Edited by TangoUp (327 posts) -

Still not interested in the (US) government-issue console.

#3 Edited by Verendus (363 posts) -

I think sums it up pretty good:

Finally, Whitten could not give any reassurance that Microsoft will not change its policies in the future.

http://www.vg247.com/2013/06/19/xbox-one-drm-policy-changes-waited-on-gamers-knowing-complete-story/

Anyways, even if they have been doing a lot of reversing and their policies seem bit odd, I think the changes are great for people who decide to purchase Xbox One.

#4 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (4191 posts) -

Going with Sony, and I already have a PS4 pre-ordered. Going to try that sucker on day one, and if Sony didn't screw anything up with online, or UI, or features, or what have you, then I'm not going to look back. If they did screw something up, I'll just return the console, reluctantly buy an Xbox One, and shove Kinect in the closet.

#5 Posted by falserelic (5721 posts) -

Cus its Microsoft they love their consumers...nah just kidding they're like prostitutes.

#6 Edited by EXTomar (5021 posts) -

I believe the issue with Microsoft is that their current behavior comes from within their corporate culture. Decades of "stack ranking" has promoted cut-throats and hobnobs instead tech-heads and visionaries. At rivals Google and Apple, their promotion systems seem to take more into account and get a wider range and more diverse set of middle management that translates into a better quality higher management. And particularly at Apple, when things go wrong people "are excused" instead of recycled. Parts of the design team responsible for the iPhone 4 antenna problems were booted. Parts of the iOS team that fumbled the Maps thing were booted too. At Microsoft, the teams and leads responsible for failed products like Zune and Kin instead of being demoted or booted were put into equivalent or higher positions in Win Phone and XBox.

So you have corporate culture trained to tear each other down and rewards playing office politics more readily than participating in the success of product lines. I'm not surprised at all at the schizophrenic nature and messaging of the XBox One because there are competing internal forces that are trying to promote themselves instead of promoting the products.

#7 Posted by Pezen (1754 posts) -

On one hand I can totally see where you're coming from. On the other hand, I find it refreshing when a big company actually makes changes that are echoed from complains from possible future consumers. Whether the change is driven by earlier mistakes or simply them looking at hard numbers, I like that. I don't really agree that backing on a previous decision is a sign of lack of vision, but more a bit of humility in their own standing with the market.

Though sure, at some point, it does end up looking a little ridiculous.

#8 Posted by Darji (5412 posts) -

The biggest problem I see is that they have lost their full concept of what the console wanted to be. Think about it. You worked like 2 years on a concept of a new generation and in 3 months you have to change basically everything around it. These engineers and programmer must either be totally devastated and pure geniuses to change all that without a negative effect and the feeling of an incomplete system or it will be a mess in the first months.

#9 Posted by chiablo (1033 posts) -

I think the majority of people who have been following all the weird news regarding the XBox One will be getting a PS4 or sticking with PC gaming. Where Microsoft will get the majority of their sales from are the clueless consumer who's last console was the XBox 360 and has friends on XBox Live.

#10 Edited by AlexGlass (704 posts) -

I'm not sure how you could consider anything else they've done as "backpedalling" other than the DRM. Have you guys not been around for other hardware launches or has it just been too long?

Companies have always adjusted products right up into launch with various minor changes. Go look at the original Xbox specs. Or 360. Kinect. Hard disks. Hardware changes were there too. Clockspeed downgrades. RAM upgrades. Kinect downgrade. And MS haven't been the only ones to do things like this.

This time we got a couple of small upgrades and it's much better than the downgrades of before. It's kind of standard console launch 101 by now. I'm on my 6th freaking hardware launch since I really started keeping up with this and this is nothing new.

It seems to me like Xbox fans are complaining and MS is answering and talking about their features a lot more while Sony fans seem to be happy with anything Sony does so they don't have to do anything.

Personally I want Microsoft to make sure they address as many complaints as they can before launch.

#11 Edited by Jimbo (10150 posts) -

Every step they're taking is a step in the right direction, it's just that every step further they get from their original pitch the more embarassing it becomes. The logical conclusion is that they are trying to gradually walk it back, so that by launch the issues surrounding DRM, price and the mandatory inclusion of the Kinect have all been resolved.

They're doing the right thing by putting the long term prospects of the console over their pride, but there's only so far they can go with this before the whole thing just becomes too much of a joke to salvage. The biggest hurdle for them at this point has to be the branding. The Xbox One name was designed entirely around the feature set and vision they were pushing at E3 - a vision which has since become a plague-ridden leper they can't get away from fast enough. The idea was that you buy the Xbox One, put it in your living room, and between the console and the camera it offers One unified solution to everything. All of their early marketing has been based on pushing that idea. Now the Kinect no longer needs to be Kinnected, which, ok, they can maybe just about get away with that because at least it's supplied to everybody... but if they do take the next step and offer a sans-Kinect SKU, they will be making a mockery of the Xbox One brand. They're going to confuse and alienate the exact market they were trying to attract with it in the first place. 'There's more than One Xbox One?? Which One is the One which does everything?! So, wait, this One doesn't do everything but that One does? Fuck it I'll get a PS4.'

I'm sure the Xbox One name seemed smart at the time, but I guarantee that right now they are wishing they had called it almost anything else. They went all in by naming it that, and now it's just tied their hands. This is one case where a 'bad name' has actually become a bad name in a meaningful way, because it's having a real impact on what they will feel like they can and cannot do strategically. Right now, Microsoft would love to offer a sans-Kinect SKU and price-match or undercut the PS4; it's the name which will be forcing them to think twice about it. They're lumbered with a system named for a vision they no longer want anything to do with. I think it'll turn out to be an expensive blunder, because I think they know that with the name/branding being what it is they simply cannot remove the camera even though they want to. Eventually it will become clear that they have no option but to keep the camera, price-match the PS4 regardless and just take the hit.

#12 Posted by JasonR86 (9994 posts) -

It just makes them look like they have no idea what they are doing, have no confidence, and that anything they say now or in the future is subject to change making them look like a weak company.

#13 Posted by Sergio (2460 posts) -

I think the changes they've made since their initial announcement are good for the consumer overall, but does weaken the perception people have of Microsoft.

I will somewhat agree with @alexglass that a lot of consoles go through these changes. It just happens to be more visible now with the internet, but it also seems to be more late-coming and reactionary than usual. I will disagree about the DRM being the only thing they've changed, although that is the biggest thing since it had other repercussions. Others included self-publishing and having the Kinect always plugged in. Again, both changes are good changes.

#14 Posted by spraynardtatum (4038 posts) -

@tangoup said:

Still not interested in the (US) government-issue console.

#15 Edited by cutyoface (564 posts) -

I haven't been interested in it since day one and these changes have been making me more and more convinced this console isn't for me.

#16 Edited by BigJeffrey (4892 posts) -

I am still getting it regardless of the backtracking, all the changes they've made are software changes, Microsoft has been on the ball this gen with Software and at the end of the day this will still play games. I will probably enjoy those games.

#17 Edited by Blu3V3nom07 (4183 posts) -

I'm still good with XONE. I'm still getting both consoles near launch. How many times am I gonna type out this statement in the next four months? And them the next year after.

#18 Edited by EXTomar (5021 posts) -

To be clear: I wholeheartedly approve of the "backtracking". What I have perpetually harped on is that the original decisions probably shouldn't have been made in the first place because they were hardly decisions or ill conceived. There have been a number of decisions and actions coming from Microsoft that have been bewildering and confusing where how XBox One is being handled is symptomatic.

In the end it will probably be fine but it is perfectly understandable why people are underwhelmed or outright repulsed.

#19 Edited by AlexGlass (704 posts) -

@jimbo said:

Every step they're taking is a step in the right direction, it's just that every step further they get from their original pitch the more embarassing it becomes. The logical conclusion is that they are trying to gradually walk it back, so that by launch the issues surrounding DRM, price and the mandatory inclusion of the Kinect have all been resolved.

Seems to me like this is the spin and agenda a lot of people want to push, but it just doesn't hold up to the facts. Nothing that they have changed other than the DRM has pushed them further away from their initial pitch. They've simply improved upon things, whether it was hardware upgrade or including the headset or offering indie support, but there's a whole crowd that desperately wants to push this spin. Giving the option to unplug Kinect doesn't change a thing about the importance of Kinect to the console or its functionality and support. It did however address a lot of people's complaints, rational, legitimate or otherwise.

"Its a brand new console now" Right?

Only its not.

Kinect's still going to be there from the moment you unbox it, plug it in and say "Xbox on". And that vision hasn't changed. It appears to me more like there's a whole bunch of people, who apparently don't want the Xbox One no matter what, that kind of want the Xbox One not to be what it is....I wonder why.

Why do so many of you desperately want the Xbox One to be stripped out of its unique features? Is it so it no longer separates itself from the PS4? It would make you guys feel a lot more comfortable in your purchase if Kinect and cloud gaming didn't amount to anything, and you could easily simply bet your money on traditional hardware tech and price. It makes it easy, right?

But Kinect and cloud processing just adds two big unknowns into the mix. They're nowhere near being on even playing field precisely because of these 2 things and all the features they bring to the table. Despite the efforts to try and downplay it, it's kind of impossible to make it go away and the console's true potential is that of the 360 and Wii all wrapped up into one box.

And there's people that actually think Microsoft would be stupid enough, that they don't realize this and actually give up that potential, not to mention on a proven cash cow that is Kinect? Three to four years from now those kids they captured will be well in their teens, and enter the core demographic. Who love Kinect! Microsoft isn't that stupid. They're keeping the teens, 20 year olds, 30 year olds and the few 40 year olds engaged, while letting Kinect grow up with that market they just captured from Nintendo. In the mean time they'll still make games like Disney Land Adventures, who sold ~2 million copies and keep capturing those young kids.

To suggest that Microsoft would actually want to back track on their Kinect cash cow and all that potential and coolness factor and the implications this tech will have on their console, you just haven't thought this one through real good.

#20 Posted by Seppli (11233 posts) -

Obviously preorders were really soft, which forced their hand. No matter how far Mircosoft backpedals, the informed customer knows it's not Microsoft's vision for Xbox One, and will not easily trust any of it.

#21 Edited by leftie68 (220 posts) -

No doubt perception is bad, but it takes just that one great, fantastic game to exclusively come out on the Xbox One to make everyone forget about these prelaunch issues and "policy" changes. 2 years from now we will not be talking about DRM, Kinect, and Cloud processing (Really, who actually gives a sh*t). We will be talking about Killer exclusive one on the Xbox One, or "Can't be missed" Naughty Dog exclusive on the PS4. I get it, people get hyped up for new console launches (heck I did too), but if you really want to be considered unbiased and reasonable in your decision-making then you would take a wait and see approach to this launch.

#22 Posted by Excast (1124 posts) -

And now we have half of Europe apparently not getting the console this year.

The more I hear about this console the more it seems as if things were not thought through particularly well. And that is worrisome considering how long Microsoft had to put this thing together.

#23 Posted by Jimbo (10150 posts) -

@jimbo said:

Every step they're taking is a step in the right direction, it's just that every step further they get from their original pitch the more embarassing it becomes. The logical conclusion is that they are trying to gradually walk it back, so that by launch the issues surrounding DRM, price and the mandatory inclusion of the Kinect have all been resolved.

Seems to me like this is the spin and agenda a lot of people want to push, but it just doesn't hold up to the facts. Nothing that they have changed other than the DRM has pushed them further away from their initial pitch. They've simply improved upon things, whether it was hardware upgrade or including the headset or offering indie support, but there's a whole crowd that desperately wants to push this spin. Giving the option to unplug Kinect doesn't change a thing about the importance of Kinect to the console or its functionality and support. It did however address a lot of people's complaints, rational, legitimate or otherwise.

Bullshit. The changes to the DRM alone are substantial enough. The difference between the camera being an integral and required component of the system, to now being something you don't even have to plug in if you don't want to, is all the difference in the world. It now raises the perfectly legitimate question: 'If it's no longer essential, why are you forcing me to pay for an extra I don't want?'

Developers also have to consider now that just because x million X1s have been sold, it doesn't mean that x million people are reguarly interacting with Kinect, becoming comfortable with Kinect and have the camera set up and ready to go at a moment's notice. Which puts them right back where they were before, unable to take the camera for granted and -unless they are making a dedicated Kinect game- only using the camera for gimmicky non-vital game functionality. If you tell me your mainly contoller-based game has some important Kinect functionality and I now need to go dig out my camera and set it up to be able to play the game, chances are I'm not bothering to buy that game.

Microsoft don't want to backtrack on Kinect. What they want to backtrack on (but can't because of how they have branded and promoted the console) is Kinect being bundled with every X1, because it's forcing them to be priced uncompetitively. Having a 1:1 Console:Kinect ratio is no benefit to them if the Kinect-inflated price means they only sell half as many consoles. eg. They'd be much better off selling 20m consoles with a 50% (optional) Kinect attach rate than selling 10m consoles with a 100% attach rate. The result would be just as many Kinects out there and twice as many consoles, plus they'd have additional benefit of those Kinects belonging to people who actively chose to buy them, rather than people who may or may not have even wanted one. Obviously those numbers are a guess but I don't think they're greatly exaggerated; if they end up releasing at $100 more than PS4 they are obviously going to take an absolute hammering compared to if they release at the same price. An awful lot of people are now going to see that $100 difference as being for an extra they don't even want.

#24 Posted by Jimbo (10150 posts) -

@leftie68 said:

No doubt perception is bad, but it takes just that one great, fantastic game to exclusively come out on the Xbox One to make everyone forget about these prelaunch issues and "policy" changes. 2 years from now we will not be talking about DRM, Kinect, and Cloud processing (Really, who actually gives a sh*t). We will be talking about Killer exclusive one on the Xbox One, or "Can't be missed" Naughty Dog exclusive on the PS4. I get it, people get hyped up for new console launches (heck I did too), but if you really want to be considered unbiased and reasonable in your decision-making then you would take a wait and see approach to this launch.

I kind of agree with you -one strong exclusive could change everything- but unless that releases or at least becomes a known quantity relatively soon after launch then it could be too late to make a difference. PS4 could have too much momentum and an unassailable lead within 6 months, let alone 2 years from now.

Microsoft have to find a way to become competitive and at least stay in the fight during the first 6 months. If we get to the second round of purchasers who all buy 'whatever their friends have', and their friends all have PS4s, then Microsoft are really going to struggle to turn it around. There's no doubt Microsoft would be in a much stronger position if they had The Halo or Titanfall nailed down for this holiday. Sony doesn't really have anything either though, which will at least give MS some hope.

#25 Edited by TruthTellah (9612 posts) -

I don't really consider any of Microsoft's original ideas for the console to be "wrong".

I'd say many were too soon and extremely poorly pitched to the public. An embarrassment of promotions and poor planning on their part. Their ideas had merits and concerns like anything else, but their selling of those ideas was almost unprecedentedly terrible, betraying any possible merits most people would perceive.

#26 Posted by Slag (5364 posts) -

Oh for Pete's Sake

Now people are mad at them for fixing their complaints? Seriously? What the hell do you want them to do?

Are you saying they should stick to their guns regardless of whether their original plan was terrible or not? That's just dumb.

Xbox1 is now 200% more interesting to me than it was at E3. I have more confidence in Microsoft as a company now than I did before. Yes their original vision was in my opinion very anti-consumer, but it takes integrity to admit error and address the problem. I'm glad they had the balls to admit they effed up. That's not weakness, that's making smart decisions based on new information.

I wish Nintendo would take a page from Microsoft's book, or are we saying that the XboxOne should go down in flames like the WiiU because they stubbornly won't make the changes consumers want?

I do think Microsoft as usual could have announced these changes in a much better way(all at once instead of several backpedals while announcing new benefits) that inspires more confidence, but the direction they are going is much better than it was earlier this year.

C'mon don't be mad at a company for trying to make it right with their customers.

#27 Edited by jeanespinosa21 (111 posts) -

@jimbo: well titan fall even though its most likely going to be a timed exclusive is coming out for Microsoft and infamous: second son is coming out for sony, i think infamous in February and titan fall in march. Also there are rumors of presenting a teaser of uncharted 4 at gamescom

#28 Edited by Questionable (669 posts) -

Since NSA is out in the open i have ridden my home of any and all american Camera/microphone carrying hardware that is in any way connected to the internet, the iphone was first to go.

No only are company's on US soil now legally obliged to hand over any and all information and full access, its actually a criminal offense to safeguard your customers privacy when uncle sam come's a knocking.

#29 Posted by TheHBK (5657 posts) -

It wasn't wrong, the idiots that can't see the future are just too loud.

#30 Edited by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

@thehbk: That you don't agree with them doesn't make them idiots.

#31 Posted by spraynardtatum (4038 posts) -

@thehbk: That's why Microsoft is instituting Enforcement United. To shut up all the naysayers.

#32 Edited by EXTomar (5021 posts) -

Why would Enforcement United shut up naysayers?

#33 Posted by kpaadet (420 posts) -
#34 Edited by AlexGlass (704 posts) -

@jimbo said:

@alexglass said:

@jimbo said:

Every step they're taking is a step in the right direction, it's just that every step further they get from their original pitch the more embarassing it becomes. The logical conclusion is that they are trying to gradually walk it back, so that by launch the issues surrounding DRM, price and the mandatory inclusion of the Kinect have all been resolved.

Seems to me like this is the spin and agenda a lot of people want to push, but it just doesn't hold up to the facts. Nothing that they have changed other than the DRM has pushed them further away from their initial pitch. They've simply improved upon things, whether it was hardware upgrade or including the headset or offering indie support, but there's a whole crowd that desperately wants to push this spin. Giving the option to unplug Kinect doesn't change a thing about the importance of Kinect to the console or its functionality and support. It did however address a lot of people's complaints, rational, legitimate or otherwise.

Bullshit. The changes to the DRM alone are substantial enough. The difference between the camera being an integral and required component of the system, to now being something you don't even have to plug in if you don't want to, is all the difference in the world. It now raises the perfectly legitimate question: 'If it's no longer essential, why are you forcing me to pay for an extra I don't want?'

Developers also have to consider now that just because x million X1s have been sold, it doesn't mean that x million people are reguarly interacting with Kinect, becoming comfortable with Kinect and have the camera set up and ready to go at a moment's notice. Which puts them right back where they were before, unable to take the camera for granted and -unless they are making a dedicated Kinect game- only using the camera for gimmicky non-vital game functionality. If you tell me your mainly contoller-based game has some important Kinect functionality and I now need to go dig out my camera and set it up to be able to play the game, chances are I'm not bothering to buy that game.

Microsoft don't want to backtrack on Kinect. What they want to backtrack on (but can't because of how they have branded and promoted the console) is Kinect being bundled with every X1, because it's forcing them to be priced uncompetitively. Having a 1:1 Console:Kinect ratio is no benefit to them if the Kinect-inflated price means they only sell half as many consoles. eg. They'd be much better off selling 20m consoles with a 50% (optional) Kinect attach rate than selling 10m consoles with a 100% attach rate. The result would be just as many Kinects out there and twice as many consoles, plus they'd have additional benefit of those Kinects belonging to people who actively chose to buy them, rather than people who may or may not have even wanted one. Obviously those numbers are a guess but I don't think they're greatly exaggerated; if they end up releasing at $100 more than PS4 they are obviously going to take an absolute hammering compared to if they release at the same price. An awful lot of people are now going to see that $100 difference as being for an extra they don't even want.

I swear when I read this post it reads as if it was entirely sarcastic. You don't actually really believe this do you?

LOL.

Breaking news: Developers will stop supporting online multiplayer. New consoles allows you to disconnect from the internet!

Do you even realize Kinect is the reason the Xbox 360 did the turnaround it did the past 3 years and has been consistently outselling the PS3 in the USA ever since? Kinect's Microsoft biggest ace in the hole. It literally sells consoles for them. They would have to be absolutely stupid to not try to make it an integral part of gaming. To have games, core games, not just casual games, that the biggest developers are talking about using Kinect which are only possible on your console...in addition to that appealing to all those casual gamers who love games like Dance Central and Kinect Sports Rivals, puts them in a great position.

They don't want to make Kinect an accessory. They know as well as anyone else, accessories don't get full support. They hope they can make it an integral part of gaming with their tech being at an advantage. They would also be compared on nothing but basic tech which would put them at a disadvantage if they offered a Kinect-less SKU. A 250GB 360 + Kinect is still going for $400 right now. You really think it's hard to sell the public on the value of a next-gen Xbox One and Kinect 2 for an extra $100?

#35 Posted by spraynardtatum (4038 posts) -
#36 Edited by Cold_Wolven (2351 posts) -

I do feel that Microsoft have undermined the importance of the new Kinect by not making it mandatory and now they have to try even harder to justify to users to keep it connected rather than tossed back in the box and into the closet. This all feels like a weird fever dream for me right now with everything that's been happening with Microsoft after E3.

#37 Edited by AlexGlass (704 posts) -

@cold_wolven said:

I do feel that Microsoft have undermined the importance of the new Kinect by not making it mandatory and now they have to try even harder to justify to users to keep it connected rather than tossed back in the box and into the closet. This all feels like a weird fever dream for me right now with everything that's been happening with Microsoft after E3.

Kinect's mandatory. It's no less mandatory than a controller. Just about every launch title from K.I. to Spark to Dead Rising 3 are going to have Kinect support. Even if people did that, who wouldn't buy a AAA Kinect title because you have to plug it back in?

I find it insanely hard to believe most people who buy an Xbox One aren't going to want to mess with the Kinect interface and show it off to everyone when they bring it home or take advantage of the specific game features in the launch games.

It sold ~25+ million units and going without any of the things above to attract the core gamers like me. To put it in perspective, in a little over 2 years it sold more than the original Xbox, GameCube, Dreamcast, Wii U, Saturn and has a chance to catch the N64 when it's all said and done in .

#38 Edited by Littleg (82 posts) -

And motion controls literally sold consoles for Nintendo. How's that working out for them now?

I'm sorry @alexglass but it's getting to the point where I have to disregard anything you write in a thread about the Xbox One. Yes, some people are being overly negative, but I think you're being overly optimistic. Perception is reality and, within a core-gamer audience (i.e. us), Microsoft are being seen to have come out with a series of either poorly thought-out or poorly-communicated (or possibly both) policies that they've since had to make slightly embarrassing climb-downs from.

There are two brands about which I will evangelise to my friends because my experience with them have been consistently excellent over the last 4-5 years: Amazon and Xbox. And even I think Microsoft are botching this whole thing royally.

Going back to the OP: as it stands, with me not having to rely on my crappy internet connection, and Kinnect no longer being required and a headset being in the box etc etc etc the Xbox One is starting to look a lot more like a console I would want to own. So hooray for me and for responsive companies. But then, I'm a lone idiot gamer who is stuck in his ways, not an industry leader with a vision that will set the tone for gaming as a whole over the next decade. I almost wish that Microsoft had remained unrepentant and stuck to their guns and said a big 'F**k you' to all us whiny, entitled arseholes. Given a lot of these new announcements have come in the wake of Don Mattrick leaving, the Xbox division is giving every impression of being utterly rudderless.

And regarding Kinnect still being seen as an integral part of the platform, listen to this week's bombcast and the stuff that Vinny in particular has to say about it. If I buy a One and if the Kinnect is still packaged in with it, that thing will not get unwrapped and will go back in the box to gather dust until I pack up my One to hand it over to my Dad like I do with all my consoles that I am retiring. I don't want to have to yell across the living room to use voice chat with my friends while my wife and children are sleeping upstairs, I don't want to have to jump about and wave my arms around to play a game, I don't want the Xbox to take instruction from people speaking on my television. Frankly, fuck all of that.

#39 Posted by leebmx (2318 posts) -

The problem with MS making all these changes is that on the one hand you can say they listening to their customers, but after a certain point it just makes them look needy, uncertain and lacking any belief in their vision. Too much vacillating says that they have no confidence in what they are doing and this will make people reluctant to buy their console.

Companies, tech companies especially, are supposed to be visionary. Companies like Apple now and Nintendo in the past have created products their customers haven't asked for but which they believed would be loved. They stuck to this vision and were rewarded. Microsoft had a vision, but now they have abandoned it,and are letting themselves be battered by the ever changing winds of internet opinion which is worrying.

This Kinect policy is the worst example of that. Not because developers won't make games which integrate it, but because it begs the question, 'If I don't need this thing - why are you making me buy it?' Most gamers are not interested in Kinect, either because they don't want to play motion games, or because they bought one last time and they refused to be fooled again ( sure it sold a lot of units, but how many of those things are plugged in now, and how many people would be prepared to buy a new one).

What MS are saying with this move is that they have no confidence that Kinect2.0 has they potential to excite gamers. If they believed that it was really a product people wanted they would back it. Ignore all the talk about security and spying, if the Kinect turned out to be a must-have, exciting innovation, people would forget all their concerns. If the experience is worth having, then in my experience gamers will forget their concerns, and pay up. What MS are saying with this move is that they don't believe in the Kinect, just like they have refused to back the rest of their vision.

Because what MS seem not to understand is that people are vocally opposed to the Kinect not just because of security concerns but because they just don't want a Kinect. If the Kinect was the only way for consumers to play the hottest games, they would forget in an instant about being photographed by NASA while they are in their underwear and plug it right in.

This makes this decision even worse for MS, unless it is a stepping stone on the way to a sku at the same price as the PS4 without Kinect. Otherwise it makes no sense tactically. What you have now is a section of the community who want nothing to do with Kinect but if they choose an Xbox One are faced with 20% surcharge over the PS4 for the peripheral they are never going to use, and doesn't need to be taken out of the box. That isn't going to sell any consoles.

p.s. I wonder if the Edward Snowden revelations have had anything to do with this climbdown. It would be interesting to know if they would have felt forced into this move if the NSA hadn't been in the headlines for the last month.