A feature noticeably absent from Microsoft’s Xbox One console after today’s major software update is the ability to navigate the operating system via the Kinect sensor and hand gestures. While a very cool feature, it was also one that many users never really used that much and Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra confirmed that this was pretty much the case in a recent interview with WindowsCentral where he revealed that, “With gestures, the reality was the usage was very, very low. So for now, we’ve cut that from the New Xbox One Experience. So when we launch on the 12th, they won’t be in the product. We’ll continue to monitor and listen to feedback to see if people want them in.”
While some people did use the Kinect hand gestures for navigation, they would also cause frustration for some users when they would accidentally activate during gameplay or even when watching a movie. Some game developers disabled hand gestures completely in their games to prevent accidental Dashboard returning but many would often forget, even if their game was purely Kinect-based.
Kinect gesture navigation may be gone from the Xbox One but the voice commands are still very much present and are as convenient as ever for navigating the console, changing volume, recording clips, and opening and closing apps. The voice functionality will also be getting a significant upgrade once Microsoft’s personal assistant, Cortana, comes to the Xbox One in 2016 and the camera remains a fairly functional tool for faster user sign-ins, Twitch broadcasting, Skype video calls, and the growing library of Kinect-based games on Xbox One such as Xbox Fitness, Dance Central Spotlight, Just Dance 2016, and Fruit Ninja Kinect 2.
Have you upgraded your Xbox One to The New Xbox One Experience yet? What do you think of the new look so far? Will you miss the hand gestures? Let us know in the comments below.Further reading: Kinect, Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox One