The Xbox One is getting crushed by the PlayStation 4. According to VGChartz, which tracks global hardware sales, Sony's sold 7.5 million PS4 consoles and Microsoft's sold 4.5 million Xbox Ones. To turn things around, Microsoft's unbundling Kinect and ditching the requirement for an Xbox Live Gold membership to access video streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
Starting June 9, consumers will be able to buy an Xbox One sans Kinect for $399. That's the same starting price as Sony's PlayStation 4. Since its launch in November, the Xbox One has been sold for $499 with a Kinect sensor. While Microsoft might have had big hopes of pushing Kinect and its voice commands to control the living room entertainment experience, the reality is gamer's don't care about Kinect, and neither do developers.
Should you still want a Kinect, Microsoft will still sell the $499 bundle with the sensor. A standalone Kinect sensor will also be sold later this year for those who want one later.
EA's Titanfall, arguably the Xbox One's best game to date, is a good example of a AAA title that doesn't even use Kinect in any way. A quick query of a dozen of my friends who own Xbox Ones also reveals some unsurprising news: almost nobody uses the Kinect's voice controls, half of them don't even have it plugged in, and few of them even have their cable boxes patched into the console.
In other words: Kinect on Xbox One is unloved and unwanted. Unbundling Kinect from the Xbox One and selling the console at $399 to match the PS4 is the right move by Microsoft.
In addition to unbundling Kinect, Microsoft's also making another move to even the playing field with Sony: an Xbox Live Gold subscription will no longer be required in order to view video services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, YouTube, etc. This applies for both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One starting next month. Can we get a finally?
Will you finally be getting an Xbox One now that Kinect isn't a dead weight? Or are you sticking to the PS4 because it's taking the plunge into virtual reality with Project Morpheus? Let us know in the comments below.
Via Major Nelson