According to Microsoft marketing executive Mike Nichols, the "vast majority" of Xbox One owners who have a Kinect still use the voice- and gesture-based camera peripheral on a regular basis. In a new interview, Nichols declined to provide an exact number for how many Kinect units have been sold.
But he did say the people that do have Kinect use it often, but not for gaming. "I can say that the people with Kinect still make up a very, very sizable portion and that those people do use it quiet frequently," he told Polygon. "Less for games, but a lot more for biometric sign-in and user interface."
When the Xbox One launched in November 2013, Kinect was included in every bundle. In fact, Microsoft said Kinect and Xbox One were one in the same. However, Microsoft later offered a less expensive Xbox One bundle without Kinect, selling the camera separately for $150.
Microsoft is now designing future Xbox One updates, like the New Xbox One Experience coming in November, with the understanding that not everyone has a Kinect. You might think this could lead to some potential problems or challenges, but Nichols pointed out that it's a similar scenario to the Xbox 360, where Kinect is also offered as an optional peripheral.
"It's not unlike the situation with Xbox 360, when we added Kinect and you had to design for with and without systems," he said. "That same part of the decision trees exists now. Now we're not designing for everyone who has it or everyone doesn't have it. We're designing for a good chunk who have it and use it and some new customers who now have decided to get an Xbox One who don't have a Kinect, at least not yet."
Microsoft's commitment to Kinect continues with the introduction of Cortana voice search through a future Xbox One update. But in terms of Kinect games specifically, Nichols declined to say anything on this front.
Back in May 2014, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said stripping Kinect from Xbox One bundles may actually lead to greater Kinect sales in the long run. In June this year, Xbox marketing executive Aaron Greenberg stressed that Kinect is not dead, saying that Microsoft will support Kinect "where it makes sense."
Do you have Kinect? Do you use it often?