Microsoft is now selling its Xbox One console without the Kinect motion-sensing accessory for $399, the same price point as Sony’s PlayStation 4. It’s a controversial decision that’ll no doubt have far-reaching implications on console and game sales for some time to come.
There’s no shortage of takeaways from Microsoft’s decision to unbundle the Kinect. The obvious is that the Xbox One can now be purchased brand new for the same price as the PlayStation 4, a move that’ll likely help boost sales and make it a bit tougher for prospective buyers to decide which console they want to purchase. And the revelation that the Xbox One is more powerful without the Kinect hooked up is also worth considering.
That said, some early adopters will no doubt feel a bit betrayed by the fact that they had to spend $100 more to get the same console. That’s especially true for those that have no interest in using the Kinect.
Unbundling the Kinect will also be a blow to game developers as they’ll be less inclined to create games that use the accessory. Up to this point, Microsoft could guarantee developers that its entire install base would be able to play Kinect-based games. As of today, that guarantee no longer holds true.
Of course, most of Microsoft’s core games don’t use the Kinect anyway and with a cheaper option available, the decision will likely pay dividends.