As it stands, every Xbox One is bundled with a Kinect 2.0 sensor. It’s a part of Microsoft’s strategy with the Xbox One, getting the device into as many homes as possible with the launch of their next console. It’s also a policy that has inflated the cost of the new hardware, making the Xbox One the pricier of the two alternatives this holiday season when looking at the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One side by side.
A new rumor suggests that Microsoft may already be looking at alternatives once the launch hype subsides and early adopters have had their fill. Inside Gaming is reporting that anonymous sources are saying that it could be as early as 2014 that we see a Kinect-less Xbox One bundle.
While this is just a rumor at this point, and won’t likely be confirmed by Microsoft any time soon, it definitely goes against the talking points that the company has made about the reasons the Kinect is included in every Xbox One. Alongside the core features of the system that utilize the Kinect for enhanced functionality, common sense also says that developers would be more likely to develop games and applications for the Kinect when there’s a higher installed base. This move would be one that shakes up that hypothesis.
Mark it down as a rumor at this point, but it wouldn’t be the first policy shift that the Xbox One has seen so far. The console which was initially slated to launch with online check-ins and used games policies, backpedaled to adopt more consumer friendly practices in light of significant consumer backlash.
Update: Microsoft has responded with a flat out denial of these rumors. In a statement addressing the rumors, Microsoft says “We have no plans to introduce an Xbox One without Kinect. We believe in Kinect and the value it brings to both games and entertainment, and believe $499 is a great value for what consumers receive with their Xbox One.”