The lights are on
Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One will soon be available without the Kinect camera. The company issued the statement this morning, despite constant reinforcement that the Kinect is part of the Xbox One and the two would never be separated.
Microsoft says that it will begin offering more options for users. This includes a $399 Xbox One without Kinect that will appear on store shelves on June 9. A standalone Kinect will be available this fall.
The news also confirms an earlier report that streaming services will now be in front of the Xbox Live paywall. This includes Machinima, Twitch and Upload, Netflix, HBO GO, and sports apps. Skype and OneDrive will also be available for all console owners.
Our TakeMicrosoft clearly sees itself at a competitive disadvantage, and narrowing the price and bringing parity to the selling proposition is a key to turning that around. Unfortunately, it also means that we are unlikely to see any meaningful game content for the Kinect. Ever.
We're interested to talk to Microsoft about what's changed since Phil Harrison's claim that the two wouldn't be separated. Perhaps it has something to do with a lag in getting voice commands operating in some of the countries in which the device is already available.