Starting June 9, Microsoft will sell for $399.99 a version of Xbox One that will not include the Kinect voice-and-motion sensor
That’s $100 less than the price that Microsoft initially priced the Xbox One package — including Kinect — at launch, and puts it on par with Sony’s PlayStation 4, which has been outselling the Xbox One.
The Kinect-less Xbox One option will be available in all markets where the console is sold, Microsoft said in a blog post today.
The company had stated when it launched the Xbox One with Kinect last fall that the sensor was an important of its vision. But as of last month, Sony’s PlayStation 4, which costs $100 less (and was being sold in more countries), tallied sales to consumers of 7 million, while Microsoft reported that it had sold 5 million Xbox One consoles to retailers.
“To be clear, as we introduce this new Xbox One console option, Kinect remains an important part of our vision,” Xbox head Phil Spencer wrote in today’s blog post.
The post also notes that those who buy the $399 Xbox One without Kinect will have the option of buying a standalone sensor starting later this fall.
Microsoft also announced changes to its Xbox Live service, including — starting in June — the availability of free entertainment apps such as Netflix and HBO Go to Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners, even if they don’t have an Xbox Live Gold membership (previously, getting the apps had required a $60-a-year Xbox Live Gold membership); the launch of the Games with Gold program for Xbox One, which offers free games; and the start of Deals with Gold, which offers discounts for games, starting with “Forza Motorsport 5” and “Ryse: Son of Rome” in June.