Kinect-Free Xbox One for $399: It’s Happening

Last Updated: May 13, 2014


We’ve lost track of the number of times fans have argued that Microsoft’s best move would be to sell the Xbox One without the Kinect at a lower price, and most of the time, Microsoft’s only response was to insist that the Kinect was a required part of the Xbox One experience. But Phil Spencer has seemed determined to shake things up since he was appointed the new head of Xbox, and he sees things a little differently.

Today, Spencer made a few announcements, the most noteworthy of which is the new Kinect-free Xbox One. As of June 9, you’ll be able to buy an Xbox One without the Kinect for $399. Since Kinect is still an important feature for many games, the Kinect will be sold on its own starting sometime this fall.

Another piece of news fans will be excited to hear is that Games with Gold is finally coming to the Xbox One. In June, members of Xbox Live Gold will be able to pick up Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault for free. (The Xbox 360’s Games with Gold titles for June are Dark Souls, Charlie Murder, and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition; the third game is a bonus in celebration of the program’s 1-year anniversary.)

One important note, however, is the footnote at the bottom of the page that states “on Xbox One, active Gold membership required to play free games you’ve downloaded.” This suggests that unlike the Xbox 360 Games with Gold model, where you could keep the games forever, the Xbox One program will more closely resemble PlayStation Plus.

Deals with Gold will also arrive on the Xbox One, as will a special VIP room for Gold subscribers, where Microsoft “will feature free games, monthly deals, and other great benefits.”

And finally, yes, the rumors were true: you will no longer need a Gold subscription to access Netflix, Twitch, Internet Explorer, Skype, or many other apps/services previously locked behind the paywall. Check out Spencer’s full announcement to learn more.

Well, this was a welcome twist. Certain decisions have cast a dark shadow over the Xbox One, but Phil Spencer is slowly overturning them. Share your thoughts on these changes in the comments below. If you don’t have an Xbox One, does this make you more inclined to get one?