Microsoft has released a detailed statement and video outlining the future of Xbox One, and the improvements gamers can expect in the coming months.
Firstly, those gamers who want the option to buy an Xbox One without a Kinect will finally get what they've been clamoring for.
Beginning June 9th, Microsoft will begin selling an Xbox One bundle that doesn't include Kinect for $399 (Kinect-included bundles will still exist).
The Kinect will be sold, in the fall, as a separate peripheral for those who eventually decide they would like to experience the features it offers. Those gamers who own a console without Kinect will still have access to features like "Snap" and app-switching. The only thing Kinectless Xbox One owners won't be able to do is utilize voice commands, play Kinect specific games like Kinect Sports: Rivals, or utilize Kinect specific features in Kinect-enabled games.
While the Kinect is an integral bit of tech to the overall Xbox One experience, this is a great and logical option to provide consumers, and it also demonstrates that the typically stalwart and even aloof Microsoft is listening to their fans.
Games With Gold for Xbox One is also coming in June. Thus far the much-maligned program meant to compete with PlaystationPlus has been exclusive to 360. But starting in June gamers will get two free games a month that they will be able to download and play on their next-gen consoles. Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault will be the first games made available.
The most significant news for current Xbox One console owners is that discounts to current games are coming. At the moment, the Xbox One store is somewhat sparse and every game is full price. Starting in June, titles will receive weekly discounts just like the games on Xbox 360, and there will even be "a virtual VIP room exclusive to Xbox Live Gold members where (Microsoft) will feature free games, monthly deals, and other great benefits".
Entertainment apps like Hulu and Netflix will no longer require an Xbox Live Gold subscription to function as well.
These are significant changes to Microsoft's model with the Xbox One, and it comes just in time for E3 where the company can reshape public perception and establish their vision for the future.
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