In a surprising move Microsoft has lowered the price of the Xbox One. The console will now start at $399 - $100 lower – and will be sold without Kinect. The version with Kinect included will continue to sell for $499.
Cheaper Xbox One without Kinect
"Xbox One is Kinect. They are not separate systems," said Microsoft at launch. Fast forward a few months and Microsoft say that they have listened to customers and decided to launch a cheaper Xbox One without Kinect.
Xbox One was originally positioned as part game console, part home entertainment box. In this strategy Kinect was an essential element, but starting from June gamers will be able to buy Xbox One for its gaming capabilities for the same price as the PlayStation 4.
Microsoft will continue to develop for Kinect, but game developers will surely have to reconsider how much effort they want to dedicate to Kinect-enabled features, as they can no longer be sure that customers have the Kinect unit connected.
The requirement for a Xbox Live Gold subscription to access streaming services such as Netflix has also been dropped.
The $399 Xbox One will launch in existing markets in June 2014. Xbox One will launch in several new markets this September.