We recently picked up on a research report which claimed that by next year Microsoft is going to unbundle Kinect from the Xbox One. The main reason behind such a move would be to better compete with the PlayStation 4 on price. Microsoft isn’t waiting until next year. The company has just announced that starting next month it will start selling the Xbox One without Kinect for $399.
In all markets where the console is sold a Kinect-less option will be available to customers from June 9th for the aforementioned price. Everything else will remain the same. Customers will be able to play games and access entertainment applications like Netflix and Twitch, even use OnGuide and watch live TV.
It was also rumored earlier this week that Microsoft would drop the requirement to have an Xbox Live Gold subscription for streaming applications. The company has done just that, and then some. Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners no longer need a subscription to access Netflix, Hulu, Internet Explorer, Skype and many other apps.
Next month the Games with Gold program will also be available for Xbox Live Gold members on the Xbox One. First titles to be offered include Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome and a “few other surprises.” The company claims that in the coming months it will offer significant savings on titles, up to 50-75 percent.
Even though it has unbundled Kinect from its new console Microsoft isn’t abandoning the motion controller. The company says it remains an “important part of its vision.” Apart from the new $399 option customers will still be able to purchase the Xbox One with Kinect for $499. For those who buy the former but want a Kinect later on Microsoft will release s standalone Kinect sensor for Xbox One “later this fall.”