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

Reader Comments

The First Word

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 14 May 2014 @ 4:49am


    "taking a flagship product and selling it without a major bundled accessory within six months of launch is not an easy task."

    Then, perhaps they should have checked to see if the demand was there for the accessory to begin with? Opposition to the device being made mandatory was pretty clear long before it was announced.

    It should have been obvious that lots of people didn't want an accessory that could neither be removed from the console or even the internet. Had they listened, they could have avoided both the embarrassing turnarounds and the costs involved with doing so.

    The writing was on the wall long before the device was announced, but they chose to try and impose what they preferred onto their customers rather than actually listening to what customers wanted. As with the decision to force a touch interface on to Windows users who did not possess such a device, they made a bad decision that ignored peoples' actual needs and are now paying the price. Stop feeling sorry for them - they failed.

    "I love the Kinect."

    Good for you. I think it's OK, although I admittedly haven't used the new one. The old one showed promise, but some limitations have caused it not to be turned on for months in my house.

    Many hate it. Someone who hates it doesn't want it to be connected to their XBox, and sure as hell doesn't want to have to pay an additional $100 for it. Those people sure as hell don't care that MS now have to swallow that unneeded cost.

    Again, if you like it, that's great. But many gamers don't agree with you. Enough for MS to make yet another costly and embarrassing about-turn to try and get them back.

    "They did it because its unique, and innovative, way to interact with your console."

    ...and many gamers just want to use a gamepad.

    I can see your points, but many people have jumped from a 360 they were perfectly happy with to the PS4 rather than the XBox One for exactly these reasons.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.