Well, we all had a feeling this was going to happen. Let’s be honest here, aside from Kinect Sports Rivals, some gesture controls and the ability to record video content on the One did anyone really think they couldn’t live without Kinect?
Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, has today announced that we’ll soon be seeing an Xbox One minus Kinect. Arriving June 9 apparently with a $399 price tag (no UK price as yet but we would assume it’s likely going to hit the £329/£349 mark perhaps) this marks quite the change from the original “never selling One without Kinect” pitch we’ve heard preached since launch.
While this may leave those of us who were early adopters with a bad taste in the mouth, there is some light at the end of the tunnel too with Spencer also announcing that we will finally see Games for Gold coming to Xbox One in June with “Max: The Curse of Brotherhood” and “Halo: Spartan Assault” being the first available releases. Not only this, but it looks like Microsoft are trying to sweeten those on Gold with exclusive discounts, monthly deals and other as yet unnamed mysterious benefits. We wait with bated breath.
Finally, Microsoft are also doing the sensible thing and opening up the majority of their apps to non-Gold subscribers meaning no more paywall for content that you may already be paying for or can get for free elsewhere.
Credit to Phil Spencer and Yusuf Mehdi where it’s due, they have turned the whole ethos of the Xbox One and Xbox Live in particular on its head in what has been a whirlwind few months. Gone are the days of always on DRM, Kinect with everything et al ethos preached to us by Don Mattrick back at launch. There may still be jokes doing the rounds about the manner in which Microsoft are doing a 180 on just about everything they said at launch regarding the One, but fair play to them, the turnaround is being done firmly with the xbox audience and potential audience at heart. Surely that can only be a good thing?