Microsoft has announced that it will be releasing a version of the XBox One that doesn’t ship with the Kinect sensor in the box. The new package will retail in Australia for $499, $100 less than the current Kinect version of the system.
Microsoft says that the new version was an initiative started by new XBox chief Phil Spencer back in April. In an interview with Ars Technica, Spencer said “When we made that decision last summer, engineering work had to go into the platform to make sure the box would run without Kinect plugged in, and that was an enabler for this decision. It’s been five weeks since I was made head of Xbox, and at that time, Yusuf Medhi and I—we’re running the program together as partners now—and we began spending a lot of time looking at the list of opportunities for us.”
The new SKU coincides with plans to bring the Games With Gold program to the XBox One, giving users the opportunity to build a collection of free titles linked to their XBox Live Gold subscription. The company is also planning to decouple Netflix, Twitch.tv and many other video services from the Gold subscription package.
The new Kinect-less XBox One is expected to reach stores in June.