One of the smartest moves Microsoft made this year was unbundling the Kinect from the Xbox One. The Kinect is an intriguing device, but lacking significant support from virtually every game released on the Xbox One up to this point, gamers in the market for a new console saw the $500 price tag and decided to take their chances with the PlayStation 4 instead. Sales picked up though once the Xbox One dropped to $400 and now Microsoft is finally ready to reintroduce the Kinect as a separate product.
Here’s the catch: the standalone Xbox One Kinect is going to cost $149.99. This might elicit a sigh of relief from early adopters who felt cheated when Microsoft backtracked on its Kinect requirement earlier this year, but it’s bad news for the future of the Kinect. Microsoft is attempting to sweeten the deal with a free copy of Dance Central Spotlight, one of the first Kinect-centric games for the Xbox One.
“Xbox One is better with Kinect, making games, TV and entertainment come alive with premium experiences,” says the Xbox Wire staff. “The Kinect experience includes voice and gesture controls, biometric sign-in, instant personalization, instant scanning of QR codes, and enhanced features only available with Kinect in games such as Kinect Sports Rivals, Dead Rising 3, Project Spark, and more.”
Microsoft hasn’t given up on Kinect, but it has clearly taken a back seat to software and system updates for the time being. The standalone Kinect will be available for $149.99 on October 7th.