Posted May 13, 2014 by Adam in News

Phil Spencer Outlines Xbox One Pricing Change – Ditches Kinect Bundling On Basic Packages

Xbox Without Kinect Image
Xbox Without Kinect Image

TL;DR – please for the love of god buy our console!

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, is currently on the warpath undoing the damage caused by outgoing head Don Mattrick. Since becoming the head of Xbox back in March, Spencer has previously gone on record to state that Microsoft had made some “wrong decisions” when it came to the direction of Xbox One. Today he released a blog post which outlines the new direction the console will be taking, which includes a price reduction caused as a result of no longer bundling the Kinect with the basic retail unit.

Xbox One will now retail for £349 without Kinect, and there’s been an overhaul of the benefits that Xbox Live Gold members pay for (incessant advertising is presumably still included). Games With Gold, which previously launched on the Xbox 360 a year ago, will now be available to Xbox One members in June. This allows subscription based access to both AAA titles (albeit ones that have aged a bit) and indie efforts. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault will be the first two titles that kick off the new service.

In addition to that, Deals With Gold will also launch on Xbox One in June, with Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome to be the first major titles to be reduced in price for Gold Members. Spencer also promises savings “of up to 50-75 percent” off certain titles. A “virtual VIP” room will be created which lists the deals and free games to members.

The post also confirms a slew of new apps that will be hitting the console dashboard to both Gold members and normal silver members, with Machinima, Twitch, Netflix, Redbull, HBO Go amongst others (although access to those apps, such as Netflix, will still require you to be a subscriber of that service). OneDrive and Skype will also be available on Xbox One, along with Internet Explorer unfortunately.

Despite dropping the Kinect bundling, Spencer goes on to claim that it remains an “important part of our vision”. He then goes on to claim that 80% of users are actively using Kinect with 120 voice commands per month on each console, which strikes me as a scarily detailed statistic on personal console usage to be throwing around. The Kinect will continue to be sold on the premium Xbox One bundles, and confirms that a standalone Kinect sensor will be on the shelves in Autumn/Fall.

So there you have it, some encouraging steps forward from Microsoft, with the pricing being brought down closer to the PS4. Despite the promise that the Kinect is still “important”, this is clearly the beginning of the end for the sensor, which never really added anything new to the videogames that did implement its features, and has simply become an alternative way to control the Xbox itself. Without the guarantee that Xbox One gamers will have a Kinect, our speculation is that developers will simply not want to go through the hassle of implementing it in their games.

Source: xbox.com



Playing games since I'd developed enough motor functions to hold a joystick. From Commodore 64 all the way through to the latest gen. Favourite games to play are FPS games and anything with a deep and compelling story and a world that draws you in. I also enjoy writing, film making and playing bass in whatever band will have me :)