Early Kinect users losing Xbox Live access

Some Xbox 360 owners who’ve ordered a Kinect are probably pretty excited when their games show up earlier than the scheduled release date. However, that excitement is soon going to turn to frustration when they try to play the games ahead of the official launch.

It seems that when Kinect games start up, an update manager attempts to upgrade the user’s console to a version of the Xbox 360 dashboard that isn’t live on Microsoft’s servers… yet.

Early Kinect users losing Xbox Live access

One Kotoku reader found this out the hard way when he attempted to play Kinectimals:

“Just a word of warning that if you receive an Xbox Kinect game early and perform the title update, it will also update your console to the new dashboard. Unfortunately, the update isn’t the newest version, and every time you try to sign into Live it will try to update to a version that does not exist on the server,” Ken wrote. “Since you can’t connect to Live without the newest version, the system will be locked out until the update goes on the servers.”

We don’t yet know when the Xbox 360 dashboard update will be available, but it would be a safe bet not to count on it until the official Kinect launch date which is November 4th.

A lot of people might be quick to criticize Microsoft for this bug, but after working in game merchandising for a few years I’m going to give them a pass here. Please realize that there is a lot of detail that goes into a launch of this magnitude. In a perfect world, everything would align so that customers won’t acquire products until the official launch date. Manufacturers establish launch dates for a reason, and due to shipping mishaps and errors by third parties things don’t always line up the way they’re supposed to.

Chances are good that if this is a widespread problem and the new dashboard is actually complete, Microsoft could rush that component in a bit ahead of schedule. But don’t expect that, and plan on saving your new games just a few more days.