With the Xbox One, Microsoft decided to bundle its Kinect motion sensor forcing buyers to pay extra for a gadget they may not want. With a camera and microphone, some people were also worried about privacy. See also: Xbox One vs PS4 review
After flagging sales against the cheaper PS4, Microsoft has decided to sell the Xbox One without Kinect, and it will go on sale in just a few weeks, on June 9th.
Originally, the Xbox One cost £430 but is now £399. The new Kinect-less version will cost £350 – the same as the PS4.
Not everyone is happy, however. Early adopters who were sold on the promise that every Xbox One would have a Kinect 2.0 sensor are justifiably worried that game developers may not concentrate on Kinect features in forthcoming titles.
Previously, Microsoft had said the Kinect was “integral to the Xbox One experience” but on in its blog, Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox said, “There’s a lot about Kinect that I really love but we’ve also heard from people that they just like to play games with the controller in their hand and they play multiplayer through Xbox Live. What we wanted to do was for those people make sure there’s a version of Xbox One that meets the exact needs they have.”
An optional Kinect sensor will also go on sale so people can upgrade their basic Xbox One if they decide they want it.
Spencer also commented: “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. Some of the most popular voice commands include ‘Xbox On’, ‘Xbox Broadcast’ and ‘Xbox Record That’. 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.”
As of April, around 7m PS4 consoles have been sold – at least 2m ahead of the Xbox One.
Microsoft also announced that it would be making all entertainment apps freely accessible, meaning there’s no need to buy an Xbox Gold subscription to access Netflix and YouTube. Again, this brings the console more in line with the PS4.