Xbox One May Update is Coming Today

May 17, 2014 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment


The newest update for the Xbox One is on its way, so if it isn’t available for you to download now, it probably will be soon. Due to the newly implemented manual updates, if you don’t want to wait for it to automatically download, you can select “System Update” from the Settings menu.

This update contains the features previewed by the beta group near the start of May. There’s nothing Earth-shattering in this one, just a few little changes to improve your Xbox One experience.

  • Sound mixer: If you’re using two apps with Snap, this new feature will allow you to control the volume of each one individually.
  • Chat mixer: Similar to the sound mixer, this is a new feature that will let you control the volume while you’re using the Kinect to chat.
  • Share Voice Data: If you’d like to help Microsoft improve the Kinect’s voice recognition, you can go to Settings, then to Privacy & Online Safety, then to the customization option, and opt-in to “Share Voice Data.”

    Let us know what you think of these new features in the comments below. Before you leave, though, we have one more piece of Xbox news to share. If you’re planning to cancel your Xbox Live Gold subscription now that you no longer need it to access apps like Netflix and Internet Explorer, you can get a refund from Microsoft. After the June system update, if you cancel a Gold subscription you purchased before that date, you can request a refund for the remaining time left of your membership. Take a look at the official FAQ for all the details.

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

May 13, 2014 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment


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?

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