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Kinect has been ‘unfairly judged’ says Criterion head

Luke Johnson


Has Kinect been unfairly judged? Criterion's Matt Webster thinks so.

Microsoft’s much maligned Kinect peripheral has been ‘unfairly judged’, the head of Criterion has said as the camera accessory is pulled as a boxed accessory.

With Microsoft having striped Kinect from the Xbox One box earlier this month, reducing the console’s cost to a PS4 rivalling £349 in the processor, the motion-tracking add-on has failed to win much favour with gamers.

However, Criterion General Manager Matt Webster has suggested that this is not the hardware’s fault, stressing his belief that Kinect can still be used to enhance games in ‘innovative and imaginative ways’.

“I love Kinect and think it is brilliant but I think Kinect has had a really crap time,” Webster said speaking with TrustedReviews recently.

He added: “Personally speaking, I think that Kinect has had a tough time from people judging it unfairly.

With gamers continuing to bemoan the lack of AAA releases supporting Kinect in a meaningful way, Webster has looked to move the flack away from the hardware, implying that developers themselves might be at fault for the lack of Kinect success.

“It is there for us to use in innovative and imaginative ways. If games haven’t done that, it’s not the fault of the hardware,” he told us.

Looking at Criterion’s own use of Kinect, Webster hinted that the company’s E3 teased but currently untitled multi-vehicle racer could incorporate the peripheral.

“Can I see a way of us using Kinect in a really fun and interesting way? Yeah, definitely, just like we did with cameras in Burnout Paradise.”

Despite Microsoft having cut Kinect from the Xbox One box in a bid to boost sales of the console, the manufacturer has been keen to highlight its ongoing support for the peripheral.

“To be clear, as we introduce this new Xbox One console option, Kinect remains an important part of our vision,” Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Head of Xbox said in unveiling the new, Kinect-free Xbox One recently.

“We will continue to offer a premium Xbox One with Kinect bundle to deliver voice and gesture controls, biometric sign-in, instant personalization, instant scanning of QR codes, and enhanced features only available with Kinect.”

Read More: Xbox One vs PS4

Matthew Bunton

June 23, 2014, 6:19 pm

If it was still an important part of their vision then why remove it?

I wish Kinect would just die already.

Noel Grundy

June 23, 2014, 6:24 pm

I don't I wish Microsoft had the balls to support their vision. Instead of changing every five minutes. Kinect is great and should/could have been supported well in future releases. Probably not as much now that it's not standard. Just another peripheral now.


June 24, 2014, 12:20 am

Kinect is a great feature, it is about the console wars with P4, I suppose it is a bit like having a porsche boxter instead of a 911, the cost makes the compromise where as the P4 is more like a golf gti aimed at the masses. As with all new games consoles it takes time to deliver the games. I think for those who do not have it themselves its easy to moan, still you can always retro fit one^^ - I think it is a smart move by MS as it shows how much more versatile the XB1 is!

Prem Desai

June 24, 2014, 6:35 am

As I see it, the issue here seems to be the lack of titles, not the hardware.

No point blaming the camera or price or whatever.

Both Sony and Microsoft are guilty as hell for delivering consoles that are not ready.

Both Sony and Microsoft know that in order for ANY hardware to succeed, it needs the software.

Both Sony and Microsoft did not engage with the software developers at the appropriate time and so they haven't really had the time to deliver very much.

We are where we are. I just hope that both companies have learnt their lesson for the future.

Chris B

June 24, 2014, 8:42 am

The Kinect on the XBone is much, much better than the Kinect on the 360 - XBox Fitness is actually a fun game - but when it comes to the wishy-washy imprecise control of the console, in comparison to clicking a d-pad and pressing a button, it loses out big time.

I turned off a lot of the "functionality" of the Kinect, mainly due to it recognising my wife as she walked into the living room, and signed her into the XBone - while I was in the middle of a tense map in Titanfall... this happened several times for the "fun" to rapidly diminish.

We're used to controlling our consoles with, well, our controllers. Any gesture / speech based system is going to have to be flawless to get mass adoption.

As you can tell, I have mixed feelings about the new Kinect - I would love it to succeed, but it still seems to be a solution looking for a problem.


June 24, 2014, 11:20 am

If voice control is the ONLY thing that people praise about Kinect then why not just use a mic for those features like with Windows XP released 13 years ago?


June 24, 2014, 11:22 am

Oh rly? Please explain based on the amazing hardcore games of Kinect on 360 what could be done on XBone. I guess your excuse now is "I suppose we will never know because they chose to not force it on everybody".

Dion Abbott

June 24, 2014, 12:35 pm

How is x1 more versatile??? LOL ps4 does a lot mroe then play games to gimp.

X1 with kinect was like a corvetter with a catalact converter...Ps4 is like a ferarri.

Dion Abbott

June 24, 2014, 12:37 pm

Kinect adds nothing to anything we cannot already do..no one buys a new system for voice commands that can be done with any mic, or gimmicks like gestures. We can already navigate fine, kinect is a solution looking for a problem.

Dion Abbott

June 24, 2014, 12:38 pm

How is x1 more versatile??? LOL ps4 does a lot mroe then play games to gimp.

X1 with kinect was like a corvetter with a catalact converter...Ps4 is like a ferarri.

X1 is full of useless gimmicks, ps4 is a product of one visions and it does what it sets out to do better then the competition.


June 24, 2014, 12:56 pm

Name one mic that you can use on consoles. Voice commands isn't a reason to buy a system but it certainly is something that I use quite often and is a great feature.


June 24, 2014, 1:02 pm

Both are great systems but X1 is more versatile. It can multitask better and keep 5 or 6 apps running at the same time without having to close them like the PS4. It has the HDMI input (which I don't use but I'm sure it is beneficial to someone for the tv features). PS4 is a great system but it was design as a games console first which is fine but the side effect is that it isn't as good at other things.

On a side note the PS4 has gimmicks as well. The touchpad on the controller is unnecessary and doesn't do anything that couldn't be done better with buttons.


June 24, 2014, 3:12 pm

Microsofts marketing is still miles off where they need to be. The xbox has a new price point, so how does the advert "sell" the lower price? By showing it being used via the Kinect that is not included at that price!! That is stupid! Or how about Microsoft advertising its PC and phones using a music hook that sings "I want to see you be brave" Brave? That reinforces the idea that buying it is not popular, not a naturally good idea, etc etc. Idiots.

Daniel Colombini

June 24, 2014, 3:28 pm

Stopped reading at 'With Microsoft having striped Kinect from the Xbox One box earlier this month'

Come on, proof-reading once would help.

Noel Grundy

June 24, 2014, 10:58 pm

Who knows? BTW didn't realise Kinect was standard kit for the 360... Oh that right it wasn't, which is my point, and who said anything about hard core games. In fact what constitutes a hard core game?


June 25, 2014, 12:50 am

Wow! Way to show how COMPLETELY BIASED you are!
What "one visions" is PS4 focused on? You mean their almost entirely FULL E3 presentation on PS TV and pay to play services for lack of backward compatiability? You Sony fanboys make me sick with your retroactive remarks.
Explain to me ALL the things Ps4 can do that X1 can not do since it does "so much more"?
Want to talk gimmicks...?
Let's see...touchpad, useless overactive light up bar, tilt functions and a Wii U controller mic. All these SCREAM gimmick.


June 25, 2014, 12:54 am

Funny I share the same feeling towards the useless Playstation console.

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