Microsoft took to Xbox Wire today to confirm that the Xbox One will have a Kinect-free bundle available at retail beginning in June.
“Beginning on June 9th, in all markets where Xbox One is sold, we will offer Xbox One starting at ($499 AUD),” Xbox’s Phil Spencer said in the post. “This is a new console option that does not include Kinect. For ($499 AUD), our new Xbox One offering will continue to deliver access to the best blockbuster games like Titanfall, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, and the upcoming Watch Dogs, Destiny and Sunset Overdrive. You will also be able to access popular entertainment apps, such as Twitch, YouTube, and Netflix, as well as watch live TV and use OneGuide.
“Finally, you will continue to be able to use many of the unique features of Xbox One including the ability to get game invites while you watch TV, switch between games and entertainment apps, enjoy Twitch broadcasts, and upload your favorite gaming moments,” Spencer said.
Those who wish to purchase an Xbox One with Kinect will still be able to do so, and at the same price as it is today.
A Microsoft rep reaffirmed Spencer’s message that the Kinect won’t be abandoned with Eurogamer.
“As with many first generation products, the offerings can be expected to change and evolve over time. Kinect remains an integral part of our vision. Xbox One is better with Kinect, making games, TV and entertainment come alive with premium experiences,” the rep said.
Xbox Strategy Officer Yusuf Medhi spoke with Forbes to explain the rationale behind the Kinect-less bundle. “As you can imagine, we have really strong relationships [with publishers and entertainment partners],” Mehdi said. “The two of us looked at the problem the same way. We love Kinect, we love the way it’s going and the possibilities. At the same time, we also wanted to have a broadened base of users.
“Some games are fully Kinect-based, and some are better when you use Kinect, but can also work fine without it. In each of those cases, this is still the right call,” he concluded.
A representative from Microsoft Australia confirmed the Kinect-less bundle’s $499 AUD price tag. In the USA, the Kinect-less Xbox One will sell for $399 USD.
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