Microsoft unbundles Kinect from Xbox One
Console to see $100 price cut as Microsoft hopes to make up lost ground in console race
Microsoft is set to unbundle the Kinect motion-system sensor from its Xbox One games console, which will now retail for a $100 less, reports said yesterday.
The vendor has also made a concession to users wanting to view entertainment apps such as Netflix or ESPN. Previously, users had to purchase a $60 Xbox Live subscription to view these apps, but Microsoft has now waived the charge for viewing them.
The move comes as yet another reversal in the Xbox One's short lifespan. Before the console was launched, Microsoft had previously backtracked on a policy that required all Xbox One users to maintain a constant internet connection. And, after a public outcry, Microsoft dropped plans that would have prevented users from playing second-hand games.
Unbundling the Kinect from the main Xbox One package is seen as an attempt to gain lost ground in the console war race. Indeed, last week, research firm IDC proclaimed that Sony's PlayStation 4 (PS4) had already won that race. The research firm also predicted that Microsoft would unbundle the Kinect sensor from the Xbox One, but said that the move would come in 2015.
The unbundled option will come as an option - users will still be able to buy an Xbox One with Kinect at the current price of $499. Without the Kinect, the One will retail for $399, reports said.
The Xbox One is not yet officially available in the Middle East - Microsoft has chosen to wait until September 2014 to launch the device in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Sony's PS4, however, has been available since the last holiday season.
To date, Sony has sold more than 7m PS4 consoles, while Microsoft has sold over 5m Xbox One units.