When you spend $500 on a video game console — and upwards of $60 for a single game — you might hope to not be inundated with advertising. But the new generation of Xbox will be just as ad-filled as the Xbox 360. Even better, Microsoft wants to use the mandatory Kinect audio/video sensor to provide ads targeted directly to the user.
“With the new Xbox One, the technology and Kinect has improved a lot,” a Technical Account Manager for Xbox LIVE Advertising tells StickTwiddlers.com. “so that actually the voice recognition, the way you speak to your Xbox and the transition between gaming and watching TV is a lot smoother, and hopefully we can transpire that into advertising that we do.”
StickTwiddlers gives the following example:
Kinect could detect how many users are in the room and could serve advertisements aimed at families, groups, or individuals. Additional information from your Xbox LIVE account could also influence these by using metrics such as your gender, age, location, media habits and more, and Microsoft are very aware of the potential around this.
Knowing that a number of gamers are concerned about the fact that the new Kinect will always be on (as long as the Xbox One is plugged in) and could possibly be used to snoop on users, the Microsoft suits are quick to point out that the advertising team doesn’t have as much access to the Kinect code as game developers do.
“[F]rom the advertising point of view we have a slightly more limited set, which is designed to protect the user,” explains a Microsoft staffer. “The company is very keen on protecting the user from any sort of abuse so we can’t do certain things.”