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Should Microsoft Include a Headset with the Xbox One?

The Xbox One will not come with a headset. At least, that’s how things are right now. Microsoft is encouraging people to use the Kinect instead of a headset, because the Kinect has its own built-in microphone. I understand telling people to use the Kinect. I mean, it comes in the box with the Xbox One. You don’t have to go out and buy one nor do you need to buy a headset. The headset is just personal preference and another $25 you’d have to spend on top of the $499 for the system.

But many don’t want to use the Kinect as a headset replacement; they’ve learned from experiences with the last Kinect and want to stick with what works: a headset. Microsoft’s Albert Penello has said on twitter that they’re ‘looking into’ bundling a headset and that a headset adapter is in development. The headset adapter alone almost puts to bed the need to have a packaged in headset, as you could just use the one you already have. But then there are people who don’t have a headset. Maybe it broke or they lost it and getting one fresh out the box with their new, shiny system is just what they needed.

Really? It’d be nice of Microsoft to throw in a headset with the console, but do they really have to? Should they even bother? Yeah, probably.

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Last I checked, having options was pretty great. Giving people the option to use either the Kinect or a headset would be a wise move. People don’t like to be locked into things, with the only way out to be to spend more money. You put a headset in the box and the player chooses that over the Kinect, the Kinect will still be there for some other, future use. It’s not like they’re going to launch it from a catapult. They’ve got it in their homes now, but don’t force it on them any more than needed.

There’s also the fact that adding in a headset would be cheaper for the people buying Xbox Ones. As a standalone product, the Xbox One headset is $24.99. That, combined with the $499 for the system, and you’ve got a massive $524.98. And that’s before taking into account the games that’ll be bought and an Xbox Live Gold account (god forbid if you don’t have one of those!). Also, tax, because you always need to prepare for that.

When it comes to huge investments like this, people like to know how much they’ll spend before taking the plunge. Well, most people think like that. Others have money pits in their basements and can just grab as much cash as they want.

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Let’s not forget that fact that this move would make Microsoft look good too (or slightly better). When they reversed their Xbox One DRM policies, they said they heard the enormous amount of feedback from the Xbox Community and made their decision based on that. Doing the same for this headset situation would once again send a message that says, “Hey, we’re still listening to you!” After the ‘Xbox 180’ they proved that change can come when enough people want it to and are loud enough about it. Seems like a lot of people would prefer a headset over the Kinect, myself included. Also, by including the headset, Microsoft could use that as a selling point against Sony, in the sense that they’d have more stuff out of the box. “For $100 more, you get the Xbox One, a headset and the Kinect camera. Does the PS4 have a device that lets you control it with your voice? No, no it does not.”

We don’t have a definitive answer from Microsoft when it comes to the headset. They’ve been pretty quiet about it since the Twitter news. Still, they have an Xbox One Showcase at Gamescom later this month where there are sure to be some announcements. It would certainly explain their lack of a confirmation/denial about the headset, its adapter and whatever they’re ‘looking into.’

Regardless of the decision they make, one answer is certain: Yes, they should probably include a headset with the Xbox One. Or, at the very least, some version of the Xbox One. It wouldn’t surprise me if, somewhere down the road, Microsoft announced a SKU that only came with the Xbox One system, a controller and a headset for a cheaper, more competitive price.

Actually, that sounds pretty good. Remember those options I mentioned not too long ago?



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