Microsoft to release Xbox One without Kinect for $399 on June 9

Microsoft has announced it will release a version of the Xbox One without the currently included Kinect sensor for $399 on June 9, the company announced today.

Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft's Xbox unit, announced the move in a post on Xbox Wire, saying the move was made to deliver "more choices" to fans of the console. Currently, an Xbox One console can only be purchased for $499 with a bundled Kinect sensor.

"There's a lot about Kinect that I really love," Spencer said in a video released on Xbox Wire. "But we also heard from people that they just like to play games with a controller in their hand, and they play multiplayer through Xbox Live. What we wanted to do is, for those people, make sure there's a version of Xbox that meets the exact needs that they have."

Spencer maintains that Kinect "remains an important part of [Microsoft's] vision," as he says more than 80 percent of Xbox One users "actively" interact with the sensor, with an average of 120 voice commands issued by each user per month. For those who wish to purchase the less-expensive Xbox One but may want the sensor later, Microsoft will begin offering Kinect separately sometime "this fall."

In addition to lacking voice and motion commands, the $399 version of Xbox One will also seemingly lack some TV functionality, as the Kinect sensor controls associated TVs and set-top boxes. TV features have been a large part of Microsoft's Xbox One plan since the console was first announced, with several Microsoft-developed shows and movies scheduled for release on the console and the Xbox 360 in the coming months.

The Kinect-free version of Xbox One notably places it at the same price as Sony's PlayStation 4, which has seen a significant sales advantage over Microsoft's console. Today's announcement also comes on the heels of analyst speculation that Microsoft would offer the Xbox One without Kinect by 2015.

Microsoft was previously adamant that it would not release a version of Xbox One without Kinect, saying the sensor was a necessary part of the console's experience. In an August interview, Xbox executive Phil Harrison said the two could not be separated.

"Xbox One is Kinect," he said. "They are not separate systems. An Xbox One has chips, it has memory, it has Blu-ray, it has Kinect, it has a controller. These are all part of the platform ecosystem."

While Microsoft stated Kinect was vital to the Xbox One, game developers appeared to disagree. At launch, no games required the sensor, and few have been released since then with extensive support for Kinect.

Source: Xbox

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All the people complaining and saying things to the effect of "ooo burn" are the same people who wanted this to happen.

Sad news. But anyway, I'm happy that my XB1 has a Kinect and I use it on the daily. It's too bad that people who buy this won't know the beauty of it.

Really wish Microsoft stopped being overly people-pleasing and instead stuck to their vision. This will hold them back from innovating forward.

Thats is silly Microsoft needs to be more people pleasing if they are going to be more competitive. If kinect had apps that people really liked then I would agree it would be dumb move. However, there are few apps that appeal to its user base. And the most important thing for for microsoft is to grow its userbase.

I think MS did do a lot of user feedback/surveys about the use of the Kinect. I know that I got at least 3 of them sent to me and a follow up call. While I do use it a lot and would still buy Kinect given a choice, I'm sure there were enough others that didn't to justify having an option of not having it bundled.

So from all the features they announced the only one left is the feature SimCity HAD: we use the cloud to compute and simulate the game because it is too heavy and can not be done locally. This game was build with cloud in mind.

So luckily we still have the cloud right? Right? Riiiiiiight? :p

Asurax said,

So luckily we still have the cloud right? Right? Riiiiiiight? :p

Sadly even that will be minimal since the whiners got them to back track on always on, developers aren't going to push their games into the cloud worried they will lose that same set of gamers I would guess.

Everyone is being harsh on MS, I see it as them finally listening to what their customer wants and think that taking customers wants seriously and doing something about them is quite admirable. Its the Microsoft we have needed for awhile and its never too late. Good for you Microsoft and also I think consumers should give themselves a pat on the back, they voted with their wallets and won.

So they have reversed practically everything about the xbox one yet everyone (apart from Neowin) was saying these things would cause it to fail from the get go. Makes you wonder how they could make such a colossal blunder in the first place.

Because if you never try something new you'll never know how it would have turned out. They tried it. They learned from it. Now we get a couple of bundles to choose from. I'd rather they take a few risks than just try to stay status quo. That's what screwed them up in the mobile sector.

At least Microsoft is listening.

I have no problems personally with the hard-sell bundling of the Kinect, if the unit was backwards compatible for hardware and software. But it is not, and that made the entire experience very limiting.

As it's been said before, if there were any (at all) AAA-rated Kinect titles available at launch, at least that would have made the product tempting. But seriously... we're not that naive (are we??) to think we really want to spend 100 bucks more for voice control.

I've got two kids to wrangle. I'd trade voice control for two extra controllers in a heartbeat, no question. We're not all made of money -- if I were I'd take it all, but that's the reality of the world we live in. People won't buy the XB1 because of the substantial hardware AND software investment it requires.

And why would MS just lower the price and take the profit hit while still keeping the Kinect in the package? Because the developer writing is on the wall -- when less than 5% of your overall software portfolio remotely uses the camera, that product is officially "niche" not "core" no matter how much Microsoft wants to make it so.

MS is listening to consumers. Isn't this a good thing? I use my Kinect daily but that's just me. I can see how people wouldn't use it. Voice commands are awesome when you can't find the remote... :p

Lord Method Man said,
broken comment system.

So, you wanna try that again? Or are you saying somebody had already posted comments to that effect and I missed it? I searched for 'Skype' in this thread, and didn't see anything relevant.

I had tried replying to another comment, hitting 'Add Comment' did nothing, so I finally hit Cancel and responded to yours. When I hit Add Comment again my old reply to the other comment appeared under yours, so I just said screw it and edited my reply to reflect my frustration.

Lord Method Man said,
I had tried replying to another comment, hitting 'Add Comment' did nothing, so I finally hit Cancel and responded to yours. When I hit Add Comment again my old reply to the other comment appeared under yours, so I just said screw it and edited my reply to reflect my frustration.

:-) Seems to be working now. Looking forward for any thoughts on how Skype is gonna work. MS had also been hyping voice commands as if they were a big thing. So is this going to be known as the dumbed-down Xbox?

I find it kinda amusing that for so long, up until now, a lot of people on this site stuck by MS choice to keep Kinect bundled with all Xbox One consoles. So many of you (including me), backed them up and agreed that Kinect needed to stay bundled for developers sake. Now, suddenly MOST of you are happy that it's being stripped and saying "it's about time" and "they're finally listening to their customers"?

What in the hell is wrong with the lot of you? This is a horrible decision and a huge waste of our (people who hoped to watch Kinect grow) time and money. This is like last year all over again with MS forceably ditching online only plans and making their console less unique.

*end rant*

all this talk about the Kinect being integral part of Xbox and how it is NEVER going to be sold without one.

ok i am done!!! (i only imagine how pissed off the real fans must be after another 180 reversal of Xbox team!)

ps. I might actually buy an xbox now. before that I could not care less for Kinect, and i did not want to pay the premium for it! now only the games are an issue.. and i love Killer Instinct a LOT.

I'm gonna be selling my Xbox One now, if Kinect is no longer integral then I've been misled and no longer wish this console

While this move will increase the change of my upgrading to the XB1, it is still games that will move me to upgrade. I have a Kinect with the 360 and I tried to use it, but it just isn't fun (at least by yourself). The benefits of the new Kinect are few and really not features you must have, can easily do without.

So, it does mean that they can sell the XO sooner in more countries whilst they fix the voice recognition etc for each language. But this is #### for ever seeing innovative games that can use motion control, which is an experience I would like.

I hope that MS gives funds for devs who put good Kinect functionality / requirements in their games, so that when the game is sold "Works best with Kinect", someone has to buy the Kinect for the full experience - and maybe it can be bundled as such too "Buy Kinect and get xyz game for 50 %"

Hilarious, after all this talk that Kinect was needed.
They must have been really feeling the heat from the PS4 and felt they had no other choice.

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