Microsoft lowers Xbox One price to $400 and drops Kinect

Was the $500 asking price of Xbox One too high?

Well, Microsoft thinks so, and has so far announced a drop in price by $100. But the new price doesn’t come without its own twist. Fans will have the option of enjoy the gaming console without the Kinect peripheral.

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Starting June 9th, the Xbox One will be sold in a second bundle sans Kinect (a standalone version of Xbox One’s Kinect will be available “this fall,” should you wish to add one later on). The “premium” bundle with Kinect packed-in will stick around after that.

Additionally, the Xbox One and Xbox 360 will no longer require a Live Gold subscription to access streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and HBO Go. A Live Gold subscription will also not be needed for some premium services on the Xbox One, such as OneGuide, Internet Explorer, and Skype.

There will still be some services that are exclusive to Live Gold subscribers, including the “Games with Gold” program, cloud game saves, and Game DVR. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Games with Gold, Live Gold subscribers will receive an additional free Xbox 360 game in June. Additionally, Microsoft announced that both “Games with Gold” and “Deals with Gold” will come to the Xbox One in June.

The cheaper price represents a major shift for Microsoft.

The cheaper Xbox One model will allow Microsoft to match the $399 PS4 on price. Sony has still managed to extend its lead by two million units.

Despite all these new changes, Microsoft reiterates that Microsoft Kinect motion sensor remains an “important part” of the company’s vision, noting that more than 80 per cent of Xbox One owners use it regularly – issuing 120 voice commands per month per console.

“We will continue to offer a premium Xbox One with Kinect bundle to deliver voice and gesture controls, biometric sign-in, instant personalisation, instant scanning of QR codes, and enhanced features only available with Kinect in games such as Kinect Sports Rivals, Just Dance 2014, Project Spark and more,” said the company in a blog post.

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