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Microsoft to offer Xbox One without Kinect

by William Schwartz

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Microsoft is ready to start selling the Xbox One unbundled from the Kinect Sensor. The company made the announcement earlier today, in what is likely a response from the sluggish sales of the new console when compared to the PlayStation 4.

Purchasing an Xbox One without the Kinect will be cheaper, more in-line with the PlayStation 4 price point. The Xbox One is now, officially, the same price as a PlayStation 4. ($399).

Though Microsoft isn’t abandoning the Kinect altogether. The company apparently wants to give consumers an option at retailers, a crazy idea, one that Microsoft probably should have given consumers back in November.

As we introduce this new Xbox One console option, Kinect remains an important part of our vision

“To be clear, as we introduce this new Xbox One console option, Kinect remains an important part of our vision… If you buy Xbox One for $399 and later decide you want to have all the experiences Kinect enables, we will also offer a standalone sensor for Xbox One later this fall. We’ll share more details about the standalone Kinect for Xbox One in the coming months,” reads an announcement from Phil Spencer.

Kinect has been a controversial topic since it was announced as shipping with every Xbox One console. Privacy concerns and other issues seemed to overshadow any of the real benefits that bundling the sensor with the Xbox One has, like browsing the user interface and controlling different aspects of media consumption by voice and gesture commands.

Xbox One without Kinect Announcement

The news is surprising, considering that Microsoft has gone on the record a number of times since the Xbox One launch, to say that they will not be offering an Xbox One SKU sans Kinect. Just weeks ahead of E3, Microsoft is gearing up to win gamers back with the Xbox One, this should help their case considerably.

The company has also confirmed that they will indeed be removing the Xbox Live Gold paywall for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and others.

Microsoft will begin selling the new Xbox One without Kinect on June 9th.

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