Despite the decision to ultimately remove the Kinect from a retail version of Xbox One, chief marketing and strategy officer Yusuf Mehdi still thinks bundling it was "the right call." In comments recently, Mehdi argued that the usage stats back up their idea that most people who have a Kinect use it.
“I think it was the right call to bundle with Kinect,” he told Forbes (via IGN). “In the beginning of a new console generation, you’re trying to set the bar for a new experience, and I think we did that with Xbox One. The proof is really in the usage. 80 per cent of people are using Kinect which is remarkable compared to the last generation. We’re doing 120 voice commands on average a month with over a billion commands issued. People who wanted the experience came and bought it. We were sold out all through the holidays. I think it was the right call, and now is a good time to offer more choice for people who haven’t been able to get that experience.”
He also reiterated that Kinect is part of a step towards the future, to offer functionality that will be commonplace soon enough.
“The way I look at it is that you should take a five year vision. I think in five years, we will laugh at any computing device you can’t walk up to and talk to. Voice is going to be there for all devices. We’re a pioneer with Kinect in the living room."
Presumably, that assumption that voice will be ubiquitous is convincing Microsoft that the standalone Kinect will eventually be a hit. For the time being, we doubt many users will miss it all that much, and its absence may even be a benefit for gamers.