Paul Mottram, head of studio Zoe Mode, the developer responsible for the Kinect-compatible Zumba Fitness range of games, has claimed that Microsoft's decision to offer a Kinect-free version of the Xbox One is likely to cause series issues for Kinect developers.
Speaking in an interview with game development website Develop, Mottram outlined his fears, saying:
From a developer point of view it's a shame, as it all but kills the chances of making an original Kinect title unless it is a major licensed Fitness or Dance product – and even those will suffer as it's unlikely we'll see Kinect 2 units even come close to the installed base of the original now. Even then it was a challenge.
I just feel sorry for those developers who had Kinect titles in development who’ve had the rug pulled from beneath them and may now stand little chance of seeing a return on their investment.
Luckily for Mottram's studio, it doesn't appear that they were working on a Kinect title at the time of the announcement, but not everyone has been quite so lucky. Harmonix, best known for games like Rock Band and Dance Central, is currently in the process of putting the finishing touches on Fantasia: Music Evolved, and may now face an uphill challenge to convince players that it's worth picking up a pricer version of the Xbox One to play.
Microsoft, on the other hand, believes that the move will ultimately lead to more Kinect sales, which we're still struggling to figure out. Answers on a postcard please!