Talking tech since 2003

For several months, it seemed like Microsoft was phasing Kinect out entirely.

It all started with the introduction of the $399 Xbox One back in June. Microsoft went ahead and began selling a Kinect-less console, even though there was no way to buy a Kinect sensor outside of the $499 bundle. Consumers wanted choice, indeed; the choice to skip out on Kinect and buy later was one of those choices, but Microsoft didn’t offer it. July brought us no news on the accessory, and we very nearly made it through August without so much as a peep.

xbox-one1-300x164Finally, today, we have something: a standalone Kinect for Xbox One will launch on October 7 and will cost $149.99. This news comes courtesy of Xbox Wire, which also let us know that Dance Central Spotlight will come bundled with the sensor. This means you’ll be able to both control your Xbox using voice commands and dance like a fool in your living room.

The price, $149.99, was actually what I was expecting. The original Kinect for Xbox 360 came in at the same price point, though, to be fair, there was an entry-level Xbox 360 console selling for $199. The Xbox One isn’t even a year into its lifespan and sits at a more premium $399. The $499 Xbox One with Kinect bundle is still a pretty good deal, though — if you think back to when the 360 Kinect came out, which was five years into that console’s life, the top-of-the-line 360 and Kinect rung up at $399. And the Xbox One’s Kinect is far more capable.

How will the newest standalone Kinect sell? It’s hard to say. The Xbox 360’s Kinect sold incredibly well for an accessory, though the 360’s install base at that point was much larger than the Xbox One’s is now. The state of Kinect game development is also in flux, as Microsoft’s flip-flopping on the Kinect bundle has rattled some developers.

If the Kinect takes off as a standalone accessory (much like Sony’s PlayStation Eye camera has), we could see a lot more development for it. The Kinect is a pretty impressive piece of technology, so that’s what I’m going to hope for.

What about you? Will you be getting a standalone Kinect when it goes on sale? Leave your thoughts below.

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