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Kinect-Less Xbox One Announced, Priced At $399
In a move that many expected to happen, Microsoft has decided to offer up a Kinect-less Xbox One that will allow for the console’s price point to be reduced form $499 to $399. As the company stated on its site, this new Xbox One offering will be available for purchase starting on June 9th, the day Microsoft’s E3 press conference goes live.
The company has also stressed that even though the console won’t contain a Kinect in this new bundle, it will still be able to play all of the games, apps, and services that the current model currently supports.
“For $399, 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,” the company states. “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.”
Alongside the price reduction Microsoft is also looking to improve its Free Games with Gold service, as it will be adding more recent titles for free. Starting on June 9th, Xbox 360 owners will be able to download “Dark Souls,” “Charlie Murder” and a bonus game of “Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition.” At the same time the program will launch on Xbox One with “Max: The Curse of Brotherhood” and “Halo: Spartan Assault.” Having a single membership nets you access to both Xbox 360’s and Xbox One’s free titles. And much like Sony’s PS Plus program, discounts of up to 50-70 percent off will also start to roll out for Xbox Live members. Discounts on “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Ryse: Son of Rome,” and a few other games will be discounted starting in June.
Another important new feature, that will excite Xbox users, is that having an Xbox Live membership will no longer be required to use apps such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. This was one of the most requested improvements, behind removing the Kinect 2.0.
Sony’s PS4 has been outselling Xbox One since both launched in November, and this sudden announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. PlayStation 4 has been priced at $399 since the start, and has sold over 7 million units while Xbox One has only shipped 5 million. This move displays Microsoft’s intention to catch up to Sony.