Ok everyone, I hope you’re going to be happy about this.
After all the complaining, all the whining, all the tantrums you all threw about how you wanted to see the Xbox One drop the mandatory Kinect, it has finally happened.
Earlier this week, Microsoft made a ton of new announcements leading up to E3. As if showing off a preview of the latest Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive from Insomniac Games wasn’t enough, Microsoft announced that a new Xbox One SKU will be released on June 9th (the first day of E3) for $399, one that will not include the Kinect bundled in.
I have to admit, this is a pretty smart move on Microsoft’s behalf. In doing this, they are instantly removing the $100 premium that separated it from the PS4, and should help improve sales. While many people, mostly Sony fans, are gloating about how the PS4 has a huge lead in units sold (7 million compared to 5 million for the Xbox One,) they need to realize that gap is not as huge as it sounds, especially considering how the Xbox One is available in far less markets than the PS4 is.
While I know there are many out there who are celebrating the removal of the Kinect (even going as far as claiming they won’t have their privacy invaded anymore, as if they don’t realize they can turn the camera off when they want,) I admit I have been pleased with mine. Most of the problems I had with the previous Kinect becoming “self aware” are diminished, and using voice controls to change applications is a huge plus. I’m glad to see the option to add a Kinect is still available and I will not be getting rid of mine as quickly as I did the one on my 360.
Not to mention that I like to use mine for Twitch streaming, as well as Upload Studio. After all, remember the influx of PS4 owners who had to look for the PlayStation Camera to stream on Twitch, up to the point where some retailers raised the price by $10 because of the high demand.
But yes, the addition of choice is huge, especially with E3 just around the corner. Considering Microsoft is already planning their E3 briefing to be all about their upcoming Triple-A titles, led by someone who is more of a gamer in Phil Spencer as opposed to the DRM shill that was Don Mattrick, they are about ready to hit the ball out of the park and take on Sony.
But Microsoft was not done with the removal of the mandatory Kinect. Another huge complaint has been removed, as entertainment apps such as Netflix, Hulu, MLB.TV and NFL on Xbox One no longer require an Xbox Live Gold membership. Even further, those who purchased a Gold account just for the entertainment apps are eligible for a refund should they decide to get rid of Gold. While it won’t affect me as much since I use many of the other bonuses that Xbox Live Gold has, I’m sure this will make a lot of people happy.
I can hear the Sony fanboys right now, going off on how Microsoft is “desperate” in doing this. How can they be desperate so early when they have the hot iron to strike? I’m looking forward to this E3 and all the eventual Triple-A titles that are said to be announced: Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive, Gears of War: Lazarus, Halo 5, a return of a cherished Rare franchise (PLEASE let it be Battletoads!) Killer Instinct Season 2, and many others. They even are calling their E3 briefing Game On! I’m all set for that! The console war has just become a lot more interesting.
Currently Playing: Titanfall (XOne,) Saints Row IV (360)
Waiting For: Wolfenstein: The New Order