It seems like Sony?s PlayStation 4 is forcing Microsoft to make some adjustments on their Xbox One. Microsoft has just announced that on June 9, they will begin selling a $400 version of their popular Xbox One console. This cheaper version will not have the Kinect camera bundled with it.
The general assumption of the community was that the Xbox One?s price of $500 compared to the PlayStation 4?s price of $400 was mainly due to the bundled Kinect camera. The Kinect camera is Microsoft?s innovative technology that can read the movement of player?s bodies and identifies their faces and can even accept voice commands. The device is very popular for families or for group activities which include sports and dancing activities.
The PlayStation is running circles around the Xbox One due to its lower cost. At $100 cheaper, the PlayStation 4 is reported to be outselling its Microsoft counterpart by a huge margin. Recent reports have indicated that Sony has sold over 7 million PlayStation 4 consoles, while Microsoft has only sold 5 million to retailers without specifying how many were actually purchased.
The concept of bundling the Kinect with the Xbox One made sense as Microsoft?s plan was to not just be a gaming console, but to also be the total living room package. The idea was to let game creators and entertainment companies build experiences with the assumption that each Xbox One came with its own Kinect camera and this would give them the ability of voice and gesture sensing which would lead to unrivaled interactive experiences for the users. This new change will be giving headaches to developers who had this assumption as there are Kinect only games that are being developed and if the console ships without the said device, then the game would not be able to run at all.
Although the idea was good, it didn?t play out very well as $100 is a bit of a steep climb for consumers. Microsoft is trying to level the playing field, but Sony seems to be way ahead of the game right now. There is a bit of good news for Microsoft with this change as they strategically timed their announcement in a way that draws interest for the upcoming E3 Expo to be held in early June.
Will Microsoft be able to turn things around? Time will tell.
Photo Source: Xbox One website