Xbox One Caves Again: Console Will Now Be Offered Sans Kinect

from the customers-rule dept

It's been a relatively tough road for Microsoft's Xbox One, even as it's early in the console's life. You should recall that the console was initially designed to require some degree of online connectivity to work; a plan that was subsequently walked back after consumers revolted. It was the same for proposed limitations on used games, which caused similar outrage. The console was also supposed to not be fully operational without the bundled Kinect engaged, but that plan was also scrapped because customers hated the idea. Left in place were consumers questioning why they had to pay for the Kinect device at all, given the paltry sum of games that actually utilized it.

Well, the trend continues, now that Microsoft has announced in an absolutely tone-deaf blog post that there will now be an Xbox One offering that comes sans Kinect. The post, laughably, is entitled "Delivering More Choices for Fans."
Today, we're excited to share more ways your feedback is impacting the products we build. First, beginning on June 9th, in all markets where Xbox One is sold, we will offer Xbox One starting at $399*. This is a new console option that does not include Kinect. For $399, our new Xbox One offering will continue to deliver access to the best blockbuster games like "Titanfall," "Call of Duty: Ghosts," "Forza Motorsport 5," "Dead Rising 3," and the upcoming "Watch Dogs," "Destiny" and "Sunset Overdrive." You will also be able to access popular entertainment apps, such as Twitch, YouTube, and Netflix, as well as watch live TV and use OneGuide. Finally, you will continue to be able to use many of the unique features of Xbox One including the ability to get game invites while you watch TV, switch between games and entertainment apps, enjoy Twitch broadcasts, and upload your favorite gaming moments. Next, we're bringing more value to Xbox Live Gold members and offering all Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners access to entertainment apps whether or not you have an Xbox Live Gold membership.
Let's deal with these in order. The demand for a console that comes without the bundled Kinect device has been around since, oh I don't know, before the console was even released. To pretend that Microsoft is now benevolently bending to the will of consumers makes it sound like they haven't been aware of the demand until recently. That's not true. They're actually bending to consumer will of another form, the resulting trouncing of their console by Sony's Playstation, which has a better record (for this generation, at least) of actually delivering to consumers what they want. Relatively speaking, they're getting their asses kicked, and now they're scrambling to try to appease potential customers.

As for Microsoft finally releasing their entertainment apps to folks who aren't paying for the Xbox Live Gold membership, this isn't so much Microsoft giving their customers something for free as it is finally not requiring them to pay for the same thing twice. For instance, previously, if you had a Netflix account, you had to pay for that account and an Xbox Live Gold membership in order to use Netflix on your console. That's insane. Correcting insanity isn't something to be lauded.

Filed Under: kinect, listening to consumers, xbox
Companies: microsoft

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2014 @ 3:19am

    I don't understand.

    This is the second time that MS has caved on their plans for the XboxOne, giving in to consumer demand.And while some of what they were doing was misguided, but then they turned around and fixed it.

    I don't know how many people have worked in a large company, but taking a flagship product and selling it without a major bundled accessory within six months of launch is not an easy task. You have to produce or repackage all new hardware. You have to figure out what to do, and then do, with all of those spare Kinects. And hardest of all, you have to give up on your vision of a product you thought was truly innovative.

    I know the fanboys are out in full, but let me point something out.

    I'm a medium level gamer. I like to game, but I don't really want to put the time and effort into purchasing a gaming PC. I want to buy a console that just works, looks good, and won't need upgrading for 8-10 years. So I bought a console, just like millions of other people.

    Is it perfect? Nah. But it plays games, lets me stream, and honestly, I love the Kinect. Doing dishes and watching TV? The voice commands are awesome. Say what you will but getting together with my nongamer friends and playing a game like Dance Central or Kinect Sports is a blast for everyone (you'd be surprised how many people aren't familiar/comfortable with a controller).

    And the first time I did something awesome in a game and didn't have to put down the controller, or even pause the game to record it?

    That's pretty freaking cool.

    The One clearly rubs people the wrong way. But Microsoft didn't build it so the government could spy on you. They did it because its unique, and innovative, way to interact with your console.

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