Microsoft is preparing to sell the Xbox One without the inclusion of a Kinect sensor, lowering its price-point to that of the PS4.
Microsoft announced they are preparing to release an Xbox One without Kinect for $399, come June 9. The console was originally launched last November for $499, 100$ over the PlayStation 4, which did not come pre-packaged with a sensor.
At the time, Microsoft stated Kinect was an absolutely “integral part of the experience”, and tried selling the entire package to both game-makers, and publishers as well as consumers. However, months later, there are few games taking advantage of the Kinect, and its immediate benefits (voice controls, QR code reading, Facial recognition), whilst convenient, are not enough to warrant a $100 price increase.
On Tuesday, Xbox head Phil Spencer stated that, despite the company’s policy reversal, motion sensors are still an important part of Microsoft’s vision.
"To be clear, as we introduce this new Xbox One console option, Kinect remains an important part of our vision. Many of you are using Kinect for Xbox One every day. In fact, more than 80 percent of you are actively using Kinect, with an average of 120 voice commands per month on each console” he said.
"We will continue to offer a premium Xbox One with Kinect bundle to deliver voice and gesture controls, biometric sign-in, instant personalization, instant scanning of QR codes, and enhanced features only available with Kinect in games such as Kinect Sports Rivals, Just Dance 2014, Project Spark and more."
Spencer also confirmed that Microsoft will work on offering stand-alone Kinect packages at retail.