Xbox One Makes Kinect Feature Optional to Stay Competitive (Video)

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 07:09 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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The Xbox One videogame console will soon be available for $100 less if customers are willing to forego the Kinect motion and voice sensors.

On June 9, Microsoft will decouple the Kinect from the Xbox One, effectively slashing the price of the new system that launched in November to $399. That will make it the same price as its competitor, Sony's PlayStation 4.

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"There's a lot about Kinect that I really love," states Xbox head Phil Spencer in a video detailing the changes, Engadget reports. "We've also heard from people that they just like to play games with a controller in their hand."

Yusuf Mehdi, chief marketing and strategy officer, said the company decided to make the announcement Tuesday, ahead of the yearly E3 convention, in order to clear the way for a focus on games, he told

Asked if he thinks that making the Kinect optional will fragment Xbox's audience, Mehdi said he didn't.

"No, I don't. Certainly some gamers are Kinect-focused, say Kinect Sports Rivals, Dance Central. So obviously, those games do want a Kinect on every box," he explained. "But any of the other games, they work just fine with or without a Kinect, and they have experiences that allow them to be better if your Kinect is there and functioning, but work fine standalone."

In addition to the new price point, Microsoft announced that it will no longer require the $60-a-year Live Gold subscription to access apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and HBO Go.

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