Kinect-free Xbox One coming June 9

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#1 Edited by TheAdmin (712 posts) -

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."

http://news.xbox.com/2014/05/xbox-delivering-more-choices

#2 Posted by NTM (7335 posts) -

Good for them. I already have a One and a PS4, but for those that don't have a One yet, I say it's now worth it. I mean, I'm not disappointed that I got a One, I enjoyed it so far, but the Kinect, that is not worth it. The point of it was to make it more convenient, and it's the total opposite, whether you're playing a game or on the dashboard, it's also just silly to use.

#3 Posted by BigSocrates (300 posts) -

On the one hand, this makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, it is going to split the base and essentially kill off the Kinect as anything but an oddity once and for all. The whole system was supposed to be built around Kinect to some degree and now that's no longer going to be possible. As an XBONE owner who has a Kinect I am a little bit disappointed that Microsoft is never going to do anything truly interesting with this camera but maybe that wasn't going to happen anyway. Kinect is going to go down as one of the greatest boondoggles in video game history, a failed concept across two generations with a little bit of interesting stuff attached but ultimately no killer apps.

They spent hundreds of millions on the thing and couldn't develop a single great piece of software for it. What were they thinking?

#4 Posted by Wraxend (562 posts) -

Man this sucks for any early adopters but these are the risks you take with new hardware. Hmm wonder what they'll talk about on the Bombcast this week?

#5 Edited by NegativeCero (2995 posts) -

I was thinking about getting a PS4 after E3, but this move will make it harder to choose. Honestly having a Vita still has me leaning on PS4 though.

#6 Posted by Nictel (2403 posts) -

But how?!

“Xbox One is Kinect. They are not separate systems. An Xbox One has chips, it has memory, it has Blu-ray, it has Kinect, it has a controller. These are all part of the platform ecosystem.”

Phil Harrison

In all seriousness, there are so many retractions, apologies and reconsiderations surrounding the Xbox One that though this is a good step I wonder if it will really help them in the future. The Kinect was their 'advantage' over the competition. The PS4 is still more powerful than the XboxOne and if games like Watch Dogs keep coming out with superior specs on the PS4 I don't think even that $50,- price difference is going to help them.

#7 Posted by SteadyingMeat (1149 posts) -

Well that's cool. I mean, the Kinect wasn't at all what was stopping me from buying one so much as it was lack of money, but hey.

#8 Posted by BanzaiBandito (71 posts) -

Smart move. I was a day one adopter of the original Kinect and while I had some fun breaking it out for a few parties, in the end I don't think I ever got a return on investment on that thing.

To be honest, Kinect bundling was one of the features that led me and a couple friends away from the XB1.

#9 Posted by Nightriff (4989 posts) -

Cool, another price drop then I might get one now

#10 Posted by TheLastGunslinger (228 posts) -

I just hope this doesn't completely kill the support Kinect has. I really like using it for menu navigation, auto-login, turning the system on/off by voice, and the game DVR commands.

Did anyone else see John Drake's tweet? It sounds like Harmonix wasn't aware this was coming. Poor Fantasia...

#11 Posted by altairre (1177 posts) -

Good on them. I'm still not buying one but I'm sure this will please quite a few people and get them additional sales. Seems like they needed them.

#12 Edited by spraynardtatum (2808 posts) -

Now I will buy an Xbox. See Microsoft...wasn't that easy?

#13 Posted by RioStarwind (521 posts) -

Well it not having Kinect is certainly a plus yet this doesn't really blow me away unless they really go all in on exclusive games this e3.

#14 Edited by dudeglove (7740 posts) -

I really want to know the R&D costs on this thing now.

#15 Posted by Jesus_Phish (678 posts) -

@thelastgunslinger: I think it's a mistake for them to remove it. I wish they'd stick to their guns and force one into every box like they said. The technology will never go anywhere with them backing down like this.

Now you'll have all the early adopters who have it, but you'll have less companies bothered to even attempt to use it and turn it into something really useful.

#16 Posted by Uppercaseccc (97 posts) -

I should be happy about this news because it makes the one cheaper but I don't know this seems like another story about how microsoft has no commitment to stick to their vision of what the Xbox one is, this does not at all make me want to pick up a one because the PS4 cost the same and had more of a library of game I want to play. So how long until they have a standalone One Kinect and it doesn't cost $99.99

#17 Posted by afabs515 (1019 posts) -

@thelastgunslinger: I think it's a mistake for them to remove it. I wish they'd stick to their guns and force one into every box like they said. The technology will never go anywhere with them backing down like this.

Now you'll have all the early adopters who have it, but you'll have less companies bothered to even attempt to use it and turn it into something really useful.

I agree. Microsoft has essentially given up on their original vision for this console. It's like when Coke came out with New Coke way back when (although the change in sales will probably be in the opposite direction haha). It's a shame, because developers could have done some cool stuff with Kinect if it was guaranteed to be in every house.

#18 Posted by Hunkulese (2695 posts) -

That's too bad.

The kinect was the reason I was thinking about getting an Xbox One.

#19 Posted by GaspoweR (2957 posts) -

@hunkulese: It's not like their discontinuing that SKU, you can still get one with Kinect.

#20 Posted by Nictel (2403 posts) -

I really want to know the R&D costs on this thing now.

You'll have to wait for their fiscal report; from the 2013 report: "During fiscal years 2013, 2012, and 2011, research and development expense was $10.4 billion, $9.8 billion, and $9.0 billion, respectively." That is company wide of course.

#21 Posted by brutushayesosu (117 posts) -

@gaspower said:

@hunkulese: It's not like their discontinuing that SKU, you can still get one with Kinect.

And they might even discount it or retailers will after the other SKU comes out.

#22 Posted by dudeglove (7740 posts) -

@nictel said:

@dudeglove said:

I really want to know the R&D costs on this thing now.

You'll have to wait for their fiscal report; from the 2013 report: "During fiscal years 2013, 2012, and 2011, research and development expense was $10.4 billion, $9.8 billion, and $9.0 billion, respectively." That is company wide of course.

Actually, what I really want 10 years from now is the tell-all about the Kinect. There's bound to be a fucking amazing novel in here, if not a decent longform article.

#23 Posted by SomberOwl (650 posts) -

@afabs515 said:

@jesus_phish said:

@thelastgunslinger: I think it's a mistake for them to remove it. I wish they'd stick to their guns and force one into every box like they said. The technology will never go anywhere with them backing down like this.

Now you'll have all the early adopters who have it, but you'll have less companies bothered to even attempt to use it and turn it into something really useful.

I agree. Microsoft has essentially given up on their original vision for this console. It's like when Coke came out with New Coke way back when (although the change in sales will probably be in the opposite direction haha). It's a shame, because developers could have done some cool stuff with Kinect if it was guaranteed to be in every house.

Have you heard of the "New Coke" Conspiracy?. http://www.obscure.org/~bob/stuff/coke.html

#24 Posted by Marcsman (3177 posts) -

About time

#25 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

I'll be honest, I didn't want to pay extra to have a Kinect, but now that they've dropped it and are at price parity with PS4, I don't know that I'd want to pay the same price for a slightly weaker system when I can just get a PS4. The only thing that distinguishes the One now is Microsoft's exclusive games, which are less of a draw now than they were last gen. I'll still pick one up for Halo and maybe Gears, but I can wait.

#26 Posted by TheKing (828 posts) -

A couple months ago I would have been kicking myself for buying the 500 dollar Xbox One because I always thought "Kinect is dumb!!!!11". But now that I own one and use it daily I couldn't imagine this console without one.

#27 Edited by xyzygy (9944 posts) -

Reading other's responses, I'm not sure if people realize that you can still buy a Kinect+X1 bundle. Kinect is still a thing and you can still buy it with the current bundle, or separate. It's not like they're throwing the Kinect out.

To me, this is Phil Spencer coming in and basically just being real and seeing things for what they are. I think he's doing his best to get this back on track, he seems like such a real guy who actually plays games and knows what people wants. Not Don fucking Mattrick. So far they've been changing the Xbox One to fan response and they've been successful on that front. These are smart moves and options are not bad.

Online
#28 Posted by mrcraggle (1903 posts) -

What are MS doing with the XB1? Massive steps back from their original vision and now the removal of the Kinect. It feels unnecessary as I've seen the XB1 bundled with Titanfall for the same price as the PS4 so are you really saving much with the removal of this? Devs probably won't even bother to develop for Kinect now as there's no longer any guarantee.

#29 Edited by afabs515 (1019 posts) -

@afabs515 said:

@jesus_phish said:

@thelastgunslinger: I think it's a mistake for them to remove it. I wish they'd stick to their guns and force one into every box like they said. The technology will never go anywhere with them backing down like this.

Now you'll have all the early adopters who have it, but you'll have less companies bothered to even attempt to use it and turn it into something really useful.

I agree. Microsoft has essentially given up on their original vision for this console. It's like when Coke came out with New Coke way back when (although the change in sales will probably be in the opposite direction haha). It's a shame, because developers could have done some cool stuff with Kinect if it was guaranteed to be in every house.

Have you heard of the "New Coke" Conspiracy?. http://www.obscure.org/~bob/stuff/coke.html

#30 Edited by spraynardtatum (2808 posts) -
@afabs515 said:

@jesus_phish said:

@thelastgunslinger: I think it's a mistake for them to remove it. I wish they'd stick to their guns and force one into every box like they said. The technology will never go anywhere with them backing down like this.

Now you'll have all the early adopters who have it, but you'll have less companies bothered to even attempt to use it and turn it into something really useful.

I agree. Microsoft has essentially given up on their original vision for this console. It's like when Coke came out with New Coke way back when (although the change in sales will probably be in the opposite direction haha). It's a shame, because developers could have done some cool stuff with Kinect if it was guaranteed to be in every house.

I think that is inherently not true. Kinect doesn't need to be guaranteed in every house in order for something good to come out for it. That gives developers MORE incentive to do cool stuff with it but that's not the only scenario where it can succeed. If a developer has a great idea for a way to use Kinect (I've already seen a few indies that look like they're doing some clever stuff) there's nothing holding them back making said game. I guarantee the best stuff is going to come from ID@Xbox where money isn't the singular goal of making a great game. Big budget Kinect stuff is not where it's going to shine so the need for everyone to have one doesn't actually exist.

People can now get a Kinect for actual value instead of promised value. I think it's good for the consumer and I think it's good for the technology. Now it has to prove it works correctly more than ever.

#31 Posted by EXTomar (4670 posts) -

Microsoft's plan with Kinect was a "wedge" that they could point at and go "Look at that, it is something the other guys don't do! Why would you buy their junk?" It turns out that this works as much as it fails because it only assumes they didn't do a "Kinect" thing because the competition was stupid/ignorant/whatever instead of the competition deciding to not do it for technical reasons.

#32 Posted by BIGJEFFREY (4919 posts) -

Kinect Suck, great move.

#33 Posted by Jesus_Phish (678 posts) -

@spraynardtatum: Where were all the indie devs making games for the original Kinect back when that was an optional extra for the 360? All those indie devs making cool games on the X1 that are using the Kinect now are only confident in doing it because they knew that everyone with the console would be able to buy and play their games. Now they don't have that confidence anymore.

#34 Posted by leftie68 (215 posts) -

This is really not an issue. Now I can spend the same amount of cash for a slightly weaker system with no other distinguishing factors. Microsoft needs a home run, can't be missed, exclusive to regain the market. I can see this selling a few more Xbox Ones, but not nearly enough to top PS4, even in the month of June.

#35 Posted by spraynardtatum (2808 posts) -

@spraynardtatum: Where were all the indie devs making games for the original Kinect back when that was an optional extra for the 360? All those indie devs making cool games on the X1 that are using the Kinect now are only confident in doing it because they knew that everyone with the console would be able to buy and play their games. Now they don't have that confidence anymore.

That was a completely different product during a completely different time where indie development was a completely different thing. I don't think it's comparable. If they don't have confidence simply because they're working with a niche product than they shouldn't be making that game in the first place. They aren't invested enough in what they're doing.

#36 Posted by Pr1mus (3869 posts) -

Well they got themselves a PS4 now!

#37 Posted by Jesus_Phish (678 posts) -

@spraynardtatum: It is absolutely not a complete different product. It was a year or two ago and indie development was one of the biggest things keeping the xbox going. It's absolutely comparable. Devs didn't use it because it was difficult to make use of and barely any end users owned it. That goes for indies and AAA devs.

Microsoft promised devs 100% of X1 consoles would have a Kinect. There's a difference between the confidence to work with a niche product (lets say the move) and working with something that you where promised, by the company whose console you are making a game for that every single console unit sold can play your game, no special hardware needed.

#38 Posted by Gaff (1711 posts) -

I'm really curious how much is left of Xbox One when it launches over here in September 2014.

#39 Edited by Seikenfreak (367 posts) -

Funny stuff. Xbox One has just been a train wreck before it even came out. Kind of before it was even officially announced with all the DRM rumors.

This is a good move. Doing this seemed like the logical decision but at the same time I think I also understand Jeff, that they've verbally committed to this Kinect thing so hard and that it was one unique feature it has over the PS4. So I'm somewhat surprised. Would've expected this at E3.

Still not going to buy one just yet though.

Edit: Other thought: I'm thinking down the road there will be some sort of slim/revision that removes the physical TV support hardware. Maybe sooner than later.

#40 Posted by tourgen (4465 posts) -

Slow motion train wrecks are the worst. Watch as they throw cups of water on the fire.

I guess if they could bolt on a GPU daughterboard and update the controller it might not be that bad.

#41 Posted by SavePoint (100 posts) -

Probably for the best... but man they have had no vision this generation. Good thing we have the PS4 this round and MS will have to kick it up a notch next time. We need to keep this competition roaring. And maybe Nintendo will someday join in on it again.

#42 Posted by EXTomar (4670 posts) -

Peter Bright over at Ars pointed out something: [Without Kinect] there's literally no point in buying an XBox One now, since the PS4 is better hardware.

That is astute since the PS4 appeared to be superior in performance except in voice commands and motion sense which were in Kinect.

#43 Posted by GiantLizardKing (398 posts) -

@extomar: I agree. Before there was the notion that perhaps the kinect was a value add of greater than the 100 dollar disparity. Now? Nope. All you have is an under powered console for the same price.

#44 Posted by Demoskinos (14757 posts) -

@negativecero: Dat remote play is legit son. Wake up roll over and grab your vita off the night stand. Play PS4 without even leaving your bed. Ah, technology.

#45 Posted by Relenus (21 posts) -

Man, I really hope they come up with more cool exclusives. Because right now Halo 5 is the only thing about the Xbone that makes me interested about it.

#46 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -

I'm still waiting for an exclusive that I really care about (Dead Rising is the closest thing right now and I don't see any more on the horizon; I've never been a Halo fan so anything in that franchise is not gonna do it for me). Very pleased that they are making this move though. A step in the right direction.

#47 Posted by GiantLizardKing (398 posts) -

@negativecero: Dat remote play is legit son. Wake up roll over and grab your vita off the night stand. Play PS4 without even leaving your bed. Ah, technology.

This. I can't say how much I would value this feature, being that I like to be in the same room as my wife while she watches TV.

#48 Posted by Jesus_Phish (678 posts) -

@demoskinos said:

@negativecero: Dat remote play is legit son. Wake up roll over and grab your vita off the night stand. Play PS4 without even leaving your bed. Ah, technology.

This. I can't say how much I would value this feature, being that I like to be in the same room as my wife while she watches TV.

Both these duders know whats up.

#49 Posted by notnert427 (229 posts) -

I guess I look at this differently. I bought my X1 on day one and have zero regrets. I do use a bunch of the Kinect voice stuff and it works pretty damn well these days. For me, it was well-worth the hundred bucks to have voice on/off, volume control, "xbox record that", channel changing, pause/mute/play, etc. without having to hunt down the remote. However, a bunch of people whined about the Kinect being bundled, so here they've addressed that. And now those same people are whining that it's like a PS4 now. Well, shit, what do you want? You were pissed when it had a price premium for an additional feature, yet still pissed when they present the option to not include it and cut the price? The problem is, people don't know what the f*** they want. The identically-priced, kinect-less X1 people had been demanding is coming. And what do we get now? "Well, they should have offered this from the start". Ugh. You've had that option. It's called a PS4.

Basically, we've got a bunch of people bitching about 180s, conviction, vision, et al. WHEN THEY'RE GETTING EXACTLY WHAT THEY ASKED FOR. The X1 isn't perfect, but they've at least been responsive in trying to make it as appealing as possible. Personally, I applaud Microsoft's ambition with the X1. It doesn't appear Kinect will materialize into what they'd hoped, but what we got in terms of voice controls was worth it in my book. I'm reminded of the adage "if you shoot for the moon, you'll land in the stars." They tried to make more than just a game console (and mostly succeeded), but much of the public seemed to only care that it cost more, ignoring that it does more. So they responded and are making a more PS4-like version. I'm of the opinion that you're missing out if you skip the Kinect, but for people whose friends are on Xbox who think an extra benjamin is a deal-breaker, now they've got that option. In theory, everyone should be happy. In THEORY.

#50 Posted by nasp (259 posts) -

too late microsoft.you made people mad for way too long with all the stuff you tried to force on people.so now even when you change things back it doesnt matter because the reason people are going to ps4 is not only because they like the ps4 more,its because even if the xbox was a better console they still wouldnt buy it because not only do they not like the console but they dont like microsoft as a company.and new exclusives wont change that.

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