The Kinect sensor is an important part of Microsoft’s gaming console so much so that the company has publicly said multiple times that it won’t unbundle the two. Research firm IDC believes that Microsoft might backtrack on this by 2015. In a forecast for the gaming industry released earlier this week the research firm predicted that the Xbox One will be sold without Kinect from next year.

One big advantage of unbundling Kinect from Xbox One would be the fact that the console’s price would come down. In fact the price would come down to Sony PlayStation 4’s level, which has so far outperformed its rival in terms of unit sales. IDC is of the view that selling both components alone would greatly help boost the Xbox One’s unit sales.

The research firm even predicts that following this move Xbox One’s install base in the U.S. will bypass that of the PlayStation 4 by 2016. But it goes on to say that even if Xbox One takes the win on Microsoft’s home turf Sony’s PS4 will enjoy significantly greater worldwide sales.

Not a lot of Xbox One games make use of the Kinect sensor at this point in time but that will obviously change as more games are developed for the next generation console. Microsoft is adamant about not unbundling Kinect and the console, an executive even said that “they are not separate systems.”

So even if it made sense to unbundle Kinect and Xbox One on paper, the ultimate decision rests with Redmond, and so far it hasn’t shown any hints of leaning this way.

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