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Xbox One Drops Kinect to Hit Same $399 Price as PS4

By - Source: Microsoft

Has Hell frozen over?

About eight months ago, before the Xbox One launched, Microsoft was shooting down rumors that it would sell the Xbox One without the Kinect. Surprisingly, the company this week announced plans to do just that.

Speaking via a blog post published this morning, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, said that starting June 9, Xbox One will be available at $399 sans Kinect. This 'unbundle' will mean the Xbox One can be purchased for the same price as the PS4, though the experience you’ll get with the Xbox One on its own won’t match the experience Microsoft sells in a lot of its marketing materials because there is no Kinect.

Last summer, there was talk of Microsoft offering customers the option to buy the Xbox One without Kinect. This was supposed to put Microsoft’s console in line or even under the PS4 in terms of price. Microsoft, at the time, said that Xbox One and Kinect would always be sold at the same time because they are not separate systems. They are part of the same platform.

"Correct. Xbox One is Kinect," Microsoft’s Phil Harrison told CVG in August. "They are not separate systems. An Xbox One has chips, it has memory, it has Blu-ray, it has Kinect, it has a controller. These are all part of the platform ecosystem."

Now, they're saying that Kinect is really important (in fact 80 percent of users are actively using Kinect), but feedback from customers has shown people want a variety of options in their hardware selection. In other words, Microsoft thinks the two should be sold together, but is giving the people what they want, even if it means giving them a different experience from the one the company is pushing. For those that buy the Xbox One without Kinect and later discover they need or want Kinect to round out the Xbox One experience, Microsoft will be offering a standalone sensor for Xbox One later this fall. No word on pricing on that, but it will be interesting to see if customers will break even or be out-of-pocket if they decide to buy the two separately.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    David Dewis , May 13, 2014 9:42 AM
    I think Microsoft have just killed Kinect. As with the previous Xbox, developers will make games primarily for those that do not have the Kinect so that they do not alienate a large section of gamers by releasing games they cannot use. Sure some developers will still release kinect options, but they will not be fundamental parts of the game.

    While I support this move by Microsoft, it's a little too late coming. This console is still to underpowered compared to its competitor, the PlayStation 4. Even at the same price, the PlayStation 4 is quite publicly the better option with more power. I am still surprised that both consoles chose to go with an APU and not any form of dedicated graphics.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    David Dewis , May 13, 2014 9:42 AM
    I think Microsoft have just killed Kinect. As with the previous Xbox, developers will make games primarily for those that do not have the Kinect so that they do not alienate a large section of gamers by releasing games they cannot use. Sure some developers will still release kinect options, but they will not be fundamental parts of the game.

    While I support this move by Microsoft, it's a little too late coming. This console is still to underpowered compared to its competitor, the PlayStation 4. Even at the same price, the PlayStation 4 is quite publicly the better option with more power. I am still surprised that both consoles chose to go with an APU and not any form of dedicated graphics.
  • 1 Hide
    T-Bag , May 13, 2014 9:52 AM
    Even after the price cut, I doubt it would sell well. PlayStation 4 is more powerful than Xbox One. So people would still go for the PS4. Though this decision by Microsoft is pretty late, I appreciate their move.
  • 3 Hide
    ikaz , May 13, 2014 10:03 AM
    Well you have to remember if people (i.e average comsumer) went with specs only then every one would just buy gaming PC's. I doubt most parent who are buying a system for there childern will no or even notice the different between the two systems running side by side. They will just look at price and if there kids already have a Xbox then they probably will just pick up another since they "know" the product and or already paying for gold.
  • 1 Hide
    Eurasianman , May 13, 2014 10:03 AM
    Quote:
    Even after the price cut, I doubt it would sell well. PlayStation 4 is more powerful than Xbox One. So people would still go for the PS4. Though this decision by Microsoft is pretty late, I appreciate their move.


    Not everyone cares about which one is more powerful than the other. There is also this other thing called exclusives.

    Just saying.
  • 7 Hide
    whiteodian , May 13, 2014 10:25 AM
    I find the Kinect unncessary for day to day gaming. It was a double-edged sword they had there. Forcing the Kinect on everyone obvoiusly hurt sales, but they were ensuring everyone had the device and this gave developers incentive to build games that would use it. Microsoft's blunders are comical. They don't seem to have anyone who can figure what the hell they are doing.
  • 4 Hide
    Bloob , May 13, 2014 10:30 AM
    This should improve the XBones sales performance, the price is really one of the biggest things average people look at, and those people are the ones that make the long term sales. It is also wise of them to do it now, before PS4 can get too big of a mind share as the "go-to" -console this gen.
  • 0 Hide
    agentbb007 , May 13, 2014 10:54 AM
    Well I guess games are going to continue with the old two stick buttons for at least the next 6 years. Would have liked to at least give kinect a chance for the entire console life. But now that it's optional developers aren't going to spend as much time on it, in fact now they have to plan on it not being there which is just going to be more time spent doing if (KinectPresent == true) else bla bla...
  • 4 Hide
    ikaz , May 13, 2014 10:59 AM
    Well you have to remember if people (i.e average comsumer) went with specs only then every one would just buy gaming PC's. I doubt most parent who are buying a system for there childern will no or even notice the different between the two systems running side by side. They will just look at price and if there kids already have a Xbox then they probably will just pick up another since they "know" the product and or already paying for gold.
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , May 13, 2014 11:16 AM
    Not sure too if this was a smart move. Now the developer is better without making kinetic support. Bigger customer base in that way.
  • 3 Hide
    photonboy , May 13, 2014 11:21 AM

    Quote:
    Even after the price cut, I doubt it would sell well. PlayStation 4 is more powerful than Xbox One. So people would still go for the PS4. Though this decision by Microsoft is pretty late, I appreciate their move.


    By this logic nobody would have even bought the XBOX ONE in the first place. For that matter, why is the XBOX 360 still selling if processing power is the only factor?
  • 2 Hide
    HomeSkillenSlice , May 13, 2014 11:33 AM
    I F******* KNEW this was gonna happen xD
  • 4 Hide
    fil1p , May 13, 2014 11:46 AM
    This is a bit late (should have launched at $399), although better late than never. :p 
  • -2 Hide
    Braddo , May 13, 2014 1:12 PM
    Hmm, I don't like the video or movement tracking capabilities Kinect enables but I do find voice search useful on the Xbox. If I buy an Xbox One without Kinect will Microsoft make a noise cancelling microphone array accessory available so I can still use voice commands? Will the microphone array cosst less than $100?
  • -2 Hide
    belardo , May 13, 2014 2:57 PM
    Removal of the Kinect doesn't even save MS much money... They would prefer to sell it with Kinect and make some profit... vs. almost none without it.

    The only exclusives coming out now for the Xone are from Microsoft... otherwise, more games are coming out for the PS4.
  • 2 Hide
    RedJaron , May 13, 2014 3:00 PM
    Did anyone NOT see this coming? I'd think the devs in the middle of a game rights now have to be pissed. They now have to decide whether to go back through and scrap the Kinect code, or whether to risk sales problems by requiring the Kinect.
  • 1 Hide
    hitman40 , May 13, 2014 3:19 PM
    Quote:
    Did anyone NOT see this coming? I'd think the devs in the middle of a game rights now have to be pissed. They now have to decide whether to go back through and scrap the Kinect code, or whether to risk sales problems by requiring the Kinect.


    It's a little hard to not see this coming, mostly because the reason why Microsoft gave as to why they include Kinect: They envisioned a future of gaming hand in hand with the kinect, and to do that was to actively enforce it in the bundle. They sought a future. And now there running backwards with their tails in between their legs. I don't understand this. If you envision this dream goal of yours, stick with it, not backtrack.
  • 1 Hide
    Abricalio , May 13, 2014 5:45 PM
    The way MS handled the PR for the kinect is analogous to the way MMO publishers handle starting subscription-based and going to f2p. They both spout that there's no way it'll ever change (required/sub>optional/f2p)... yet 6 months later, behold, they are revealed as liars. I mean and it's so obvious it's just PR spin to increase sales, in the end the companies that do this just damage their credibility with customers.
  • 4 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , May 13, 2014 5:54 PM
    Kinect is a failure on the grand scale of gaming. most gamers prefer a hands on controllers then to use their body has one. ps4 is doing just fine without some motion image sensor and for that ms had to give into demand on what the consumer wants. I can do everything with a controller as I can with a Kinect, but I can't do everything with a Kinect that I can with a controller. playing demanding multi-tasking games requires a controller. try playing a first person shooter using the Kinect. try playing a face paced sports game that requires multiple functions at once using Kinect, it aint happening. Kinect is a novelty item not a necessity.
  • 4 Hide
    Gigas Raid , May 13, 2014 6:56 PM
    i don't want sweating like a pig playing a game, not really impressed with motion controls. I waiting for brain interface.
  • 6 Hide
    ccintron , May 13, 2014 8:45 PM
    Rather than compromise the experience they envisioned, why not just take the hit and match the PS4 price WITH Kinnect. If they REALLY believe the Kinnect will pay off in the long run... well Microsoft, put your money where your mouth is.
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