In the six months since the launch of the Xbox One, various journalists have been asking Microsoft about offering a Kinect-less version of the next-gen console for a cheaper price point. Up until now, the company’s reps have towed the party line of the Kinect being “essential” to the operation of the Xbox One.
Xbox UK marketing chief Harvey Eagle for example said quite definitively: “A Kinect-less Xbox One is not in our plans at all. As we’ve said from the very beginning, we believe Kinect is an absolutely integral part of the Xbox One experience.”
Now, after much fan demand for it, Microsoft have changed their minds and are set to release Xbox One without Kinect starting next month. From June 9th you can purchase the Kinect-less console for $399 (the same price point as a PS4).
The Kinect-less version will be available to all markets where Xbox One is currently being sold. A standalone Kinect unit will be available to purchase in the Fall.
Microsoft has also confirmed they are removing the entertainment apps (ie. Netflix, Hulu, etc.) on its console from behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall where they currently reside.
Finally, the company is also launching ‘Deals with Gold’ in June which offers significant savings (up to 50-75%) for Xbox Live Gold members on major games each month. The first titles offered in June are launch titles “Forza Motorsport 5” and “Ryse: Son of Rome”.