Microsoft has finally made the decision that the gaming community as a whole was hoping for. In a YouTube video released on the official Xbox channel, a new Xbox One console model, without Kinect, was announced.
The new Xbox One model, available June 9, will retail for $399, with the $499 Kinect-enabled version still being hailed as the flagship Xbox One SKU. Microsoft made a point of stating the the Kinect is still a major part of the Xbox One experience, with the vast majority of Xbox One users employing the peripheral.
“To be clear, as we introduce this new Xbox One console option, Kinect remains an important part of our vision. Many of you are using Kinect for Xbox One every day. In fact, more than 80 percent of you are actively using Kinect, with an average of 120 voice commands per month on each console. Some of the most popular voice commands include ‘Xbox On,’ ‘Xbox Broadcast’ and ‘Xbox Record That.'”
Elaborating on the sudden decision, Microsoft stated that they are seeking to provide fans with as many options as possible, noting that this was a response to fan criticism. Later in the year, a stand alone Kinect will be available for purchase, allowing those who purchase the new model to upgrade their consoles.
And with that, let the console war officially begin.