In a not so surprising move, Microsoft has announced a new Kinect-less Xbox One bundle bringing priced parallel to its rival Playstation 4. Now, Retailers have already started taking pre-orders for the console immediately after the announcement. Amazon has a pre-order page set up for the kinect-less Xbox One here.
The ‘cheaper’ kinect-less Xbox One bundle will cost $399 and will be available on June 9, the very day E3 begins. Alongwith the new bundle, Microsoft also announced that June’s Games with Gold will include Max: Curse of Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault as free downloads for all Games with Gold subscribers.
Microsoft also announced that Xbox Live Gold is no longer a mandatory requirement to access apps, Xbox owners will no longer require Xbox Live Gold membership to have access to apps such as Skype, Netflix and more.
Speaking with Endgadget, Xbox Marketing lead Yusuf Mahdi said the price-drop is not because the Xbox One isn’t selling, it’s because the console isn’t selling ‘fast’.
Currently the Xbox One is a couple of million units behind the Playstation 4 in lifetime sale. Mahdi disagreed with the notion and instead pointed at the 80 million strong Xbox 360 users who were sure to upgrade to the Xbox One, with the price-cut, they will upgrade sooner than later.
Mahdi explained that the Xbox One has been designed around voice control, he admitted that navigating Xbox Menus with the controller is ‘a mess’ so Microsoft is working on providing alternatives to voice navigation for those who opt for the Kinect-less Xbox One.
One of the reason for dropping Kinect could be related to the Xbox One’s release in China to which Mahdi somewhat agreed that voice localization will take a lot of time to develop.
Fans and analysts have speculated ever since Microsoft announced that Xbox One would be $100 more than its rival that the Xbox One would get a price-cut sometime near E3 2014. Now that both the Xbox One and Playstation 4 are evenly priced and both require paid subscriptions to access multiplayer, are you interested in purchasing an Xbox One?