Microsoft Integrates Xbox One Advertising with Kinect To Profile Users and Deliver Ads

When Microsoft reversed its Xbox One policies a few weeks back, there was momentary hope that the company has listened to its customers and understood the features they were asking for. Granted, this was brief -- the company promptly dashed such ideas by throwing out all the Xbox One's good ideas alongside the 24 hour Internet connection and publisher-controlled used-game policies. Still with Mattrick gone, there was some hope that maybe the company would reintroduce plans like Family Sharing and put the console back on track.

Apparently not.

Microsoft's big new feature with Kinect? Advertising.

That, in and of itself, isn't really very surprising. Xbox 360 had ads from the beginning. Then they revamped the dashboard and added even more ad spaces. Ads on Xbox One, despite the fact that you paid $500 for the console and $60 for the yearly service, isn't very surprising. What is surprising is that the advertising team has managed to convince itself that this is actually a good thing.

"On Xbox, the ad is part of the actual experience, it’s not something that is outside. The only difference is that the advertisement we have is quite small and not disruptive so people are not aware of clicking on the banners because they know this is a part of the whole experience on the dash," a UI designer recently told StickTwiddler. "So the users know that this is something that when they click on it, they won’t be hit by something crazy or something dangerous like on the web. Everything that lands there, we create."

Microsoft Integrates Xbox One Advertising with Kinect
Because this worked so well in 2011, right?

The Xbox is developing native advertising, where ad content is displayed alongside relevant material, either embedded in search results, promoted on a network like Facebook, or a "Liked X? You'll Love Y!" style of marketing. Not to worry, though -- the company plans to use Kinect to make these advertisements even more engaging than their current counterparts. In the future, Kinect may offer you a "Choose Your Own Adventure" style narrative in which you speak commands or give orders to an ad as its playing to change the final outcome.

The other way the company wants to use Kinect is to monitor what's going on in the living room to serve you group-appropriate content, rather than resorting to the plain old method of bombarding you with non-interactive advertising for things you don't care about. Microsoft claims that the demographic data the ad team can access is very limited, but it's hard not to see shadows of the same patent for movie licensing that the company applied for last year.

Telling gamers that the Xbox One is an ad-centric experience and attempting to spin it like a positive doesn't actually work. Sure, people may engage with a new type of advertising at first, but that's not because they actually like or value the ads -- it's because the experience is new and different. According to Xbox staff, the new console is exciting because "the 360 console wasn't built with advertising in mind, it was more of an afterthought... whereas this new one is going to have advertising in mind."

Well, that settles my mind. I was terrified that the Xbox One wouldn't be able to show me interactive ads in the middle of game.

If this keeps up, I'm going to run a contest:  "Who wrote this Xbox One story? Microsoft -- or the Onion?"
ChuckRenninger one year ago

Seen this link elsewhere, I'm not going to buy either an XboxOne or a PS4..too much bull to be worth it...

Remember when all you had to do with a console was insert your game, turn the power on, and play?

That's what made a console worth my time.

These two new consoles just are too much hassle...

Ads, backwards compatibility issues, Game sharing/reselling fears, payments to play online with some games having extra charges... must be always connected to the net..etc. etc. list goes on. (Most of these problems pertaining to xbox one... But the ps4 doesn't come without it's quips)

This issue here is really disturbing/annoying, already paid for console/game, then have to pay for xbox live subscription, and they put ads in on top of it...

Well Microsoft, you got my cash for Windows 7...

Don't expect anymore.

MichaelWorley one year ago

I get enough of that crap with my computer and I actually like playing games on it. Just another console to not bother with.

supergurudoss one year ago

Haven't they been advertising about not getting scroogled by Google but here they are just doing what Google does best - targeted advertisement!!! MS contradicts itself over and over again!!

MayhemMatthew one year ago

And I am going to keep blocking them at a DNS level, because *** those bitches. I will not watch ads in a service I specifically pay for (e.g. my movie network and hbo channels)

Johnny3D one year ago

Oh... How dare they think of showing me ads for upcoming video games that match up well with games I generally play, movies I enjoy watching, or sporting events that I like. Those dastardly villains! Gather your pitchforks and your torches ye downtrodden gamers and tear down your oppressors.

Joel H one year ago


Oh... How dare they think of showing me ads for upcoming video games that match up well with games I generally play, movies I enjoy watching, or sporting events that I like."

Yeah. Call me when that happens.

I don't want to see an ad for a TV series I almost certainly *won't* like. If they start linking articles or information, that's one thing. But I can't imagine the last time I learned about something I wanted from seeing an advertisement. I've occasionally heard *company* names that came up later: "Hey, do you know a shoe repair place?" "Well, there's X."

That's about it.

BlackOpsPenguin one year ago

So far the ads I've gotten almost always miss the mark on what I am looking for. Someone is not doing their job very well.

seuli one year ago


We get a lot of that crap with my computer/leptop and Infact I like playing games on it. Just for another console to not mother with.

Oh... How breve they mind of looking me and for upcoming video games that match up well with games I normally play, movies I pleasant watching, or sporting events that I like."

Thanks for all!!

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