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

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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  • David Dewis
    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.
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  • David Dewis
    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.
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  • T-Bag
    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.
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  • ikaz
    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.
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