On the Xbox 360, Microsoft encouraged developers to integrate Kinect into traditional games where it made little sense. Sure, the voice commands in Mass Effect 3 might have seemed cool, but the motion controls in Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter were just unnecessary. Now it appears that unnecessary Kinect support may be popping up on the Xbox One as well.
In a recent interview with Patrick Bach, Executive Producer on Battlefield 4, Microsoft asked him if the hardware included in the Xbox One will "impact/change/revolutionize the future of [his] title." In response, he said that Xbox One features like SmartGlass will be integrated into the Battlefield 4 experience while Kinect support is being investigated:
In “Battlefield 4,” we’re pushing in every way that we can. Through SmartGlass, Xbox players will be able to view the overhead map during multiplayer matches and take advantage of the second screen. Also, with Kinect, we’re looking into features that enhance the controls including peeking and leaning and tracking head movement as well as incorporating voice commands.
The SmartGlass support makes sense considering the return of Commander mode from Battlefield 2. What about Kinect though? What benefit could head tracking bring to the table? Unfortunately, Bach didn't go into details, but it sounds like it's merely experimental at this stage. It's not like it would be required either as the Kinect doesn't have to be connected for games not built around the peripheral.
Still, the fact that DICE is investigating Kinect support makes it appear that Microsoft is continuing to encourage developers to integrate Kinect wherever they can. That could be a good or bad thing depending on how it's used, but many core gamers will agree that it's use in core games on the Xbox 360 was unnecessary, even if it let you control dragon shouts with your voice.
Battlefield 4 will be a launch title for Xbox One on November 22.[Image: Xbox Wire]