Microsoft to Begin Offering Xbox One Without Kinect in June
Shocking every single person on the planet, save for those working in Redmond, Microsoft announced the Xbox One would be made available without a Kinect starting in June.
Over on Xbox Wire, Phil Spencer broke the news in a statement focused entirely on listening to user feedback. “Since the beginning, we have focused on delivering great games and entertainment experiences for you,” Spencer wrote. “Your feedback matters to us and it shapes the products and services we build. Your feedback showed up in the Xbox One console we launched back in November and in the monthly updates we’ve delivered since.”
Based on that feedback, beginning on June 9, a new version of the Xbox One sans Kinect will be available everywhere for $399. A standalone Kinect will be made available in the fall, should you decide to pick it up at a later date. Spencer didn’t stop there through, as he also revealed the Xbox One Games with Gold program would kick off next month. If you have an Xbox Live Gold subscription, you’ll be able to get Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault for free on Xbox One. Additionally, new discount offers are in the works for Gold subscribers, including offers of 50-75 percent off certain games. First up will be Forza Motosport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome.
As was also rumored, streaming media apps will no longer require a Gold subscription to enjoy. In June, you’ll be able to watch Netflix, Hulu, WWE Network and more simply by already subscribing and having the Xbox One or Xbox 360. All told, more than 170 different apps will now be available for use without having to pay for Xbox Live Gold.
In case you were wondering, this is the second time Microsoft has completely backtracked on its strategy. Last year, the all-digital future Microsoft had planned for the Xbox One was abandoned quickly as a result of fan backlash. Now, just seven months after the launch of the Xbox One console, Microsoft has bailed on the peripheral it had staked so much on, and adopted even more successful policies from competitors like Sony and Nintendo. How this will change the retail landscape in the coming months remains to be seen, but now that the price point playing field is dead even between the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it’s anyone’s game.