Earlier this summer, Microsoft stripped its Kinect motion controller from the Xbox One, effectively dropping the price of its fledgling console by $US100 in the process. But if you’re hoping to get a standalone version of the Kinect, Microsoft announced Wednesday that it will release the sensor as a separate device on Oct. 7.
Microsoft says the standalone Kinect will cost $US149. So if you happened to buy the Xbox One bundle with Kinect earlier this year for $US499, congratulations — you saved yourself an extra $US50. Now, the console retails for $US399, so buying an additional Kinect would bring your purchase total to ~$550.
The original Kinect for Xbox 360 (codenamed “Project Natal”) debuted in January 2010, but when it finally launched in North America that November, the peripheral cost $US149 — the same as how much the new sensor will cost in October. But despite misgivings about the price, Microsoft sold 8 million Kinect units in just two months, which is a world record for the “fastest selling gaming peripheral.”
A year and a half after the first Kinect debuted, Microsoft decided to drop its price by $US40, which might mean the Kinect for Xbox One could see a similar price cut in a year or two.
The new Xbox One Kinect will come with a free copy of “Dance Central,” which will retail for only $US10. That means Microsoft values the standalone Kinect at about $US140.
It’s interesting that Microsoft has priced the new Kinect so high, considering it needed to basically orphan the accessory so the Xbox One could better compete with Sony’s PlayStation 4, which absolutely pummelled Microsoft in sales over the past quarter.
But when Microsoft originally unveiled its Xbox One last year, the company held up the second-generation Kinect as a major cornerstone of the new Xbox experience. With the new Kinect, gamers could activate their Xbox One by talking to it, and also switch between apps, snap features to one side or another, or record your gameplay. Just check out this old promotional video and you can see how central the Kinect was to the original Xbox One campaign.
We’ll know if gamers have warmed up to Microsoft’s standalone sensor when the $US149 accessory hits shelves in October.
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