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Microsoft will sell Xbox One without Kinect after all - BREAKING NEWS

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Kinect, Microsoft, Xbox One

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.

Add a comment12 comments
stevenjameshyde  May. 13, 2014 at 16:36

The Games With Gold announcement is interesting too

We’re pleased to bring Games with Gold to Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One in June. Members will have subscription-based access to free games ranging from top hits to breaking indie stars. The program will launch on Xbox One with “Max: The Curse of Brotherhood” and “Halo: Spartan Assault.” A single Gold membership will get you access to the free games for both Xbox One and Xbox 360


and then in the small print

On Xbox One, active Gold membership required to play free games you’ve downloaded


A true competitor to PS+ at last?

Late  May. 13, 2014 at 16:56

Horrendous news. With kinect being an optional extra and not something that all users have there's no incentive for game/app developers to utilise it, which means there's a decent chance the peripheral will fall by the wayside.

Nice to see Games With Gold coming to the Xbox One in June, mind. Didn't think we'd see that before October/November.

stevenjameshyde  May. 13, 2014 at 17:04

Horrendous news. With kinect being an optional extra and not something that all users have there's no incentive for game/app developers to utilise it, which means there's a decent chance the peripheral will fall by the wayside.

With Kinect being mandatory and the console more expensive, there was a chance the entire machine would fall by the wayside. I don't think MS realistically had any other choice

Breadster  May. 13, 2014 at 17:04

I don't think they should release a package without Kinect. The whole point in it being mandatory in the first place was to push the tech, now it's just going to be like 360 again with garbage gimmicky games.

Still, I don't own an Xbox One so it doesn't really affect me. It's a poor decision though imo.

Bola2ss  May. 13, 2014 at 17:47

Microsoft seem to always make a bad decision, then everyone tells them its bad, they leave it a year and then change it to what everyone said they should do a year ago. Why not just change it sooner?

Doors  May. 13, 2014 at 18:05

Got email from game saying kinectless xbone for 349.99. Not cheap enough considering the kinect xbone titanfall bundle has been cheaper than that in recent history

Breadster  May. 13, 2014 at 18:24

Got email from game saying kinectless xbone for 349.99. Not cheap enough considering the kinect xbone titanfall bundle has been cheaper than that in recent history


Yeah but that's GAME, don't expect any good prices from them.

Doors  May. 13, 2014 at 18:30

Got email from game saying kinectless xbone for 349.99. Not cheap enough considering the kinect xbone titanfall bundle has been cheaper than that in recent history


Yeah but that's GAME, don't expect any good prices from them.


No but I guess that's RRP

Quietus  May. 13, 2014 at 19:59

Quietus 1 : Microsoft 0.8)

dklunan  May. 13, 2014 at 19:59

The internet has been collectively losing their mind over this announcement on the other sites I visit. I understand why other early adopters are disappointed but the level of rage in some quarters beggars belief.

MS have made a tough call here but one which will ultimately get more consoles into more homes. I'd be delighted if they announced a microphone included instead of kinect so that the same level of engagement and innovation with voice commands continued but I guess that won't happen.

Make no mistake though, these are huge announcements which many expected for E3. It makes me hopeful that MS are gonna deliver one hell of a show based on what matters most to the success of the console - games!

I think xbox already has a better game selection than PS4 and if that trend continues past E3 then I can see Xbox starting to gain ground on Sony.

Tsung  May. 13, 2014 at 20:29

Anything that opens the market up to more owners is a good thing. Sorry the Kinect is a gimmick; forcing it onto people was a bold move by Microsoft. I suspect there are plenty of people out there who didn't want it or didn't have to space for it to be practical (houses in UK are much smaller than USA).

It might be trickier to do, but if Microsoft wants the Kinect to succeed they need to work at selling it to their new Kinect-less XBO customers. Give people compelling reasons to upgrade and they will... it's only a matter of time.

Last edited by Tsung, May. 13, 2014 at 20:30
Late  May. 13, 2014 at 22:12

I worry that the Xbox One now doesn't offer anything above what the ps4 offers. Yes it's brought the price down to a comparable level to it's rival - but it's a slightly inferior machine. And if you're looking for a new console and there's two to pick from - both at the same price but one is more powerful than the other, then the technically inferior machine needs to be offering something great that the other machine doesn't have.

_______________________________________________________

Naturally when I talk about the ps4 being "more powerful" I appreciate that it's not black and white and the capabilities of each machine can't be compared directly.
Equally, I've disregarded a lot of other factors, not least of which being the game catalogues and the subscription services.

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