It may seem as though Kinect was something perfectly and unmistakably made for the Xbox 360, but the original technology was actually originally planned for Apple. But because of poor negotiations between the tech company and Apple, it went to Microsoft instead.
PrimeSense is responsible for the motion-sensing functionality that eventually became the Xbox 360 Kinect. It was June 2008 when the company was ready to show it off to a hardware manufacturer for consideration. PrimeSense's main goal was to sell it to Apple.
"It was the most natural place for the technology," said the company's CEO Inon Beracha in an interview with Cult of Mac. Indeed. After all, at the time, the Wii was the only motion-sensing game console and neither Sony nor Microsoft was talking about wanting such a technology.
However, discussions with Apple didn't go over very well. "Apple is a pain in the ass," said Beracha, with a smile, reported Cult of Mac.
Apparently, Beracha was asked to sign a whole litany of non-disclosure agreements, legal bindings, and the rights to his first-born child. Alright, that last one was made up.
Of course, early Kinect reaction has been fairly negative. Users are skeptical about the camera and see it as nothing more than a souped-up version of the PS2's EyeToy. The Kinect launch titles are just a bunch of casual games, and the price is $150, almost as much as the Xbox 360 itself, or a Wii.
Microsoft has projected all sorts of hugely lofty sales goals for the peripheral, and promises to continue to support it with more sophisticated games down the road. For now, it doesn't look like the end-all be-all of the gaming industry, but it is cool.