After months of rumors and speculation, Microsoft has announced the arrival of a new Xbox One: one that’s wholeheartedly cheaper overall, and without the Kinect camera in the box. This new option for gamers arrives on June 9th for $399.
This is the same console that you can buy on store shelves right now, which includes all necessary cord hookups and a controller, but no Kinect camera for tracking your movements, listening to your voice commands, or recognizing your face for signins.
“We’ve heard that you want more choices from Xbox One. You want a wide variety of options in your games and entertainment experiences and you also want options in your hardware selection,” Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said.
“To be clear, as we introduce this new Xbox One console option, Kinect remains an important part of our vision.”
Users can buy the Kinect camera later on at their convenience (starting this fall), but no price for a store shelf Kinect was announced. Microsoft will continue to market and sell the standard Xbox One package with the Kinect included, and seems adamant that it’s the “best experience” for gamers.
The Kinect-less Xbox One box will now face the PlayStation 4 in the same competitive price arena of $399, albeit without the accessory that Microsoft concluded over and over again was a necessity from the start.
Additionally, Microsoft took its time on the podium to announce that entertainment apps like Netflix, Twitch, Machinima, and so on, will be made available for use for anyone with an Xbox 360 or Xbox One console – not just those with an Xbox Live Gold membership as it’s been for years. That means you can stream The Office on Netflix all you want on your Xbox 360 or Xbox One without having to pay an extra $60 per year. Very nice.
Both the new Xbox and freely accessible entertainment apps will be available in June.