Stop the presses. This is a big one.
After months of staunchly defending selling Kinect as a core part of the Xbox One ecosystem, Microsoft has now confirmed that a cheaper Xbox One package will be sold without the pricey depth sensor at a reduced RRP.
What's more, they'll also remove the Xbox Live Gold restrictions on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, just to sweeten the pot.
It's certainly nice to see a cheaper model out there, but have they cut their nose off to spite their face?
Microsoft revealed the move in a shock announcement on Xbox Wire.
"First, beginning on June 9th, in all markets where Xbox One is sold, we will offer Xbox One starting at $399*. This is a new console option that does not include Kinect. For $399, our new Xbox One offering will continue to deliver access to the best blockbuster games like Titanfall, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3 and the upcoming Watch Dogs, Destiny and Sunset Overdrive. You will also be able to access popular entertainment apps, such as Twitch, YouTube, and Netflix, as well as watch live TV and use OneGuide. Finally, you will continue to be able to use many of the unique features of Xbox One including the ability to get game invites while you watch TV, switch between games and entertainment apps, enjoy Twitch broadcasts, and upload your favorite gaming moments."
This decision has major ramifications. A cheaper price will entice more buyers, but at the same time, the Kinect peripheral is now an entirely optional -- and redundant -- piece of kit. As we saw with the Xbox 360, this does not inspire developer confidence, and can effectively relegate their gadget to a gimmick. Time will tell if the gamble was worth it.
In better news, however, Microsoft confirmed rumours that they planned to relax the Gold Membership subscription on streaming services, which is long overdue.
"Coming in June, anyone with an Xbox will be able to access popular entertainment experiences – whether or not you have an Xbox Live Gold membership," the statement reads. "This includes great gaming apps like Machinima, Twitch and Upload, popular video services like Netflix, Univision Deportes, GoPro, Red Bull TV and HBO GO, sports experiences like the NFL app for Xbox One, MLB.TV, NBA Game Time, NHL Game Center and more.
"Microsoft experiences including Internet Explorer, Skype, OneDrive and OneGuide will also be available to all Xbox customers."
Wow. Deep breath. Discuss.