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Microsoft Finally Selling Xbox One Without Kinect 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the paranoid-gamers-to-save-big-on-tinfoil dept.
DroidJason1 writes: "Microsoft has unbundled the Kinect from the Xbox One. The unbundled system's price now matches the PlayStation 4. Microsoft is touting 'your feedback' as the reason for this move. Any Xbox One functionality that relies on voice, video, gestures, etc, will not work without a Kinect, and users will be able to purchase a standalone Kinect later this year."
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Microsoft Finally Selling Xbox One Without Kinect

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  • LOL (Score:5, Funny)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:28PM (#46991979)

    The 180s never cease.

    • Re:LOL (Score:5, Informative)

      by NotDrWho (3543773) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:37PM (#46992103)

      With the Xbox One, MS has been backpedaling faster than Lance Armstrong approaching a drug-test checkpoint. Suddenly all those bad ideas that were so "essential" are turning into what they were all along: just fucking bad ideas.

      • Re:LOL (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:46PM (#46992219)
        And it should still be at least $100 cheaper than the PS4, considering it is inferior (slower GPU, slower RAM, less RAM, no secondary CPU).
      • Re:LOL (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @02:01PM (#46992387) Homepage
        Not just that, but they're putting the start menu back in Windows. I'm starting to like this new CEO.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Now that Bill Gates is back at the helm, I have more hope for Microsoft. Good riddance to Baldmer the sweaty blob.
      • by Ravaldy (2621787)

        You could be naïve and think that their original strategy to launch the product as a bundle had deeper rooted issues. Issues that would now have been weeded out. What I mean is that it could have been viewed as a good strategy to have a full package but when the public showed disapproval it was already too late to turn around. Months of code had already been written around the Kinect so to release on time they needed to keep it as is. Only later does the team manage to re-write the critical code and al

  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@NospAm.keirstead.org> on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:30PM (#46992007) Homepage

    s/Your feedback/A massive lack of sales

    • Re:Correction / FTFY (Score:5, Informative)

      by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:41PM (#46992153) Homepage

      s/Your feedback/A massive lack of sales

      In Capitalist USA, where dollars = votes, this is the best form of feedback.

    • Well, technically it's feedback. Not only that, but it's also the only feedback they care about.

  • when you treat optional peripherals as though they were as integral as the controller itself. I'd say that hopefully MS learned their lesson but we all know they haven't.
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:34PM (#46992047) Homepage

    Starting from when they said there would be an always-on internet requirement (and then there wasn't), and then the whole "no selling of used games policy" (and then there wasn't), Microsoft has more or less annoyed. confused and alienated their potential user base.

    Sure, some people will buy it no matter what.

    But, for some of us, give us a gaming platform which doesn't need an internet connection, isn't providing an always on internet connected camera, and doesn't handcuff us to how you think we want to use it.

    I don't want a gaming platform for Netflix, Hulu, Bing, Dong, Boing, or anything else. I'd also like to be able to play motion controlled games without an internet connection, because I'm not playing on-line games. Ever.

    And, if you can't provide that to me, I don't want your product.

    At this point, I see more value in buying a spare XBox 360 than even considering the XBone.

    • by Graymalkin (13732) * on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @02:47PM (#46992863)

      Microsoft has more or less annoyed. confused and alienated their potential user base.

      Microsoft's big problem with their policies and backpedaling is that people like me simply cannot trust anything they say. Rational buyers aren't now going to run out and buy XBones because there's no guarantee Microsoft won't go back to their original policies once sales improve.

      If anything they need to abandon disliked policies and declare publicly with some manner of legal obligation that they will never go back to them. Until then I won't even consider buying an XBone or any subsequent Microsoft console.

    • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:19PM (#46993229)

      For the past two console generations (since the original Xbox came out), I've owned every major console brand, but have generally preferred the Xbox. As such, all my games, except for console exclusives, were for Xbox. I found the original Xbox controllers to be superior to Nintendo's or Sony's consoles, and this trend continued until now. MS's "gamer score" was also rather addictive, and was one of their more brilliant ideas of the last generation of consoles. I've also been maintaining a gold account for many years, since most of my friends are on Live, and let's face it, the service was *vastly* superior to the offerings of any other company - of course, for a paid service, it damn well better be.

      I may eventually purchase an Xbone, but it might very well come after a PS4, which surprised me. For every Wii or PS3 game, I probably have seven or eight Xbox/Xbox 360 games. I'm thinking about cancelling my Live account (although I recently signed up for another year, so it will be a while), as I rarely seem to play online with my friends these days, preferring solo play.

      How did Microsoft lose me as a customer, at least so far?

      1) No backward compatibility. I've got a pretty big Xbox 360 library, with a number of games I haven't started/finished or would like to perhaps play again. Backward compatibility would have virtually assured a purchase of an Xbone device, since I know that eventually there will be games on it that I'd like to play. However, I've got to decide now which console in my entertainment center will be displaced by a new console (I've currently got four - all three last gen plus a PS2), and that's my current limit of the switching box I have installed. Microsoft should have stuck with an x86 architecture for the 360, and we'd be able to play all three versions of Xbox games on the latest console with few issues. People argue that compatibility isn't critical (which is admittedly true), since I obviously already have a 360, but I'm literally at the point where I don't have any more room to plug in another console. So now that's just one more device I need to keep connected indefinitely as long as there exists a possibility of wanting to play a 360 game. There's also another message that no backward compatibility sends: we don't care about your loyalty as a customer.

      2) Xbox as an advertising billboard. Microsoft decided to heavily monetize their console's connectivity with ads, even for those of us with Gold Live accounts. Either/or, Microsoft. I don't appreciate you double-dipping like that, and every time I see the massive wall of advertisements on every single page of my Xbox One, I get annoyed when I realized that I'm also paying for that service. At this point, I'm largely paying for Microsoft to simply serve me advertisements on my gaming console. Fuck that. Why should I pay hundreds of dollars for another platform that can assault me with non-stop ads between gaming sessions.

      3) Disappointing "next-gen" experience. In general, the next-gen experience hasn't really wowed me. Games can barely even render at a full 1080p, for heaven's sake, which I certainly didn't expect of a "next-gen" console at this point. The hard drives are pathetically small, and the Xbone's, of all the idiotic things, is not user-upgradeable (unlike the PS4). It won't take too many installs or downloads before that's all used up, and then you're playing the shuffling game with your drive space.

      4) Consumer-unfriendly arrogance. Phone home once per day or your Xbox bricks? Ok, I actually like the idea of being able to install your games and not having to put the disc in for validation. The only practical way to do this is to have an online check to make sure more than one person isn't using the same disc, but this could have been an optional setting, and the way they decided to ram this down people's throat was ridiculous. There was also the specter of killing the used-game market, and frankly, MS didn't have a lot of trust to spare at

    • by kimvette (919543)

      It's amazing how "Microsoft has more or less annoyed" Microsoft has been lately.

      Zune
      Vista
      Windows Mobile
      Windows 8.0
      Windows Phone
      Surface
      XBox One

      . . . and yet they still have problems listening to customers. See: Windows 8.1

  • Gamers don't like to Kinect, maybe because when the One was released, they were told they would always have to connect. Then when MS said developers could remove the ability to play used games, the gamers began to connect the dots. MS seems to have connected with their customers and made a connection between things they don't like about the new console and their sales numbers relative to their biggest competitor. Has this connected?
    • Kinnect does show promise with voice activation and skype which is cool. I wanted one for this reason. The xboxONE had a promise of being more than just a gamer system like the Sony is.

        That is until I found out I needed a gold account with a monthly payment. No thanks I will just use my pc for this thank you very much.

      • by NotDrWho (3543773)

        You needed a Gold account to do ANYTHING on a Xbox One. That's something else they just backpedaled on too.

  • I know this is an anti MS tech site but I was favoring an xbox over a PS4.

    The reason being is I am not a heavy gamer. I wanted a nice OS platform that was more a media center with a dvr, netflix, skype ready, voice activated system that could play games too but did a little of everything.

    Sony fanboys have been saying it is sooo much faster thinking it is 2007 all over again. But in reality the performance differences have been similiar. They are almost the same hardware with the xbox slightly slower but wit

    • by Tridus (79566)

      They did that just recently as well.

      Also, developers weren't focusing on Kinect anyway. Kinect sucks for AAA and core games. It doesn't work for the genres that are the most popular on the system (aka: shooters). Most of the time a game was made for Kinect, it was some other type of game, or something like the attempted Fable game that was a total on-rails disaster.

    • The reason being is I am not a heavy gamer. I wanted a nice OS platform that was more a media center with a dvr, netflix, skype ready, voice activated system that could play games too but did a little of everything.

      this is the exact point why i got a ps4. i already have an apple tv. what i wanted was a game system so I could play games. not be a new destination for all my multimedia needs. sony gets this - ps4 is a great game system but doesn't try to be much more.

    • The PS4 also has first party devs that MS can only dream about. You are right its not just about the hardware, but when it is about the hardware, the Sony machine is going to curbstomp the MS machine in fidelity. MS fucked up their design, its weaker than it should be. Sony bet big on GDDR5 and won.
    • If you are indeed a "heavy gamer" you should pass on the XB1. ALL multiplatform games are going to run better on the PS4! DVR? Xbox One is NOT a DVR (except for recording and uploading game clips). The voice controls work...about 80% of the time...be prepared to repeat yourself constantly. FOR GAMING, the PS4 is the one to get. If you are impressed by GIMMICKS, by all means, get an Xbox.
  • by Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:41PM (#46992155)

    I personally hate using voice command with eletronics because they can't talk back to me but some people like it, couldn't they have left the mic in? How expensive even is the mic?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      People didn't not want Kinect over cost. They didn't want Orwell's nightmare in their living room. Half of Orwell's nightmare is still nightmarish.

      • by Ksevio (865461)
        Maybe for some, but probably 90%+ was the cost issue since the PS4 was a cheaper and more powerful alternative.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Kinect is a feature of the 180. If you don't want Kinect, then there's no point to buying the new Xbox at this point anyway, because the two most hotly anticipated games are available for the 360. You either stick with your 360 (if you're going to buy an xbone, odds are good you already have a 360) or you buy a PS4 just on the basis that it's more powerful.

    • by Dutch Gun (899105)

      I personally hate using voice command with eletronics because they can't talk back to me but some people like it, couldn't they have left the mic in? How expensive even is the mic?

      Because the mic hardware was originally part of Kinnect. MS would have to create and manufacture a dedicated peripheral device with only a mic instead of the cameras + mic, and then include that or sell it separately. And since all current software was assuming that having a Kinnect meant both the mic and cameras were there, that would have meant rewriting many assumptions that the software is probably currently making, so there's even more cost.

      In short, it's not at all practical or cost-effective, espec

      • by m00sh (2538182)

        I personally hate using voice command with eletronics because they can't talk back to me but some people like it, couldn't they have left the mic in? How expensive even is the mic?

        Because the mic hardware was originally part of Kinnect. MS would have to create and manufacture a dedicated peripheral device with only a mic instead of the cameras + mic, and then include that or sell it separately. And since all current software was assuming that having a Kinnect meant both the mic and cameras were there, that would have meant rewriting many assumptions that the software is probably currently making, so there's even more cost.

        In short, it's not at all practical or cost-effective, especially not for the likely few people who wanted a mic but NOT a camera. The entire point of this move is to shave off costs for those that want nothing to do with the Kinnect. Given the fact that the Kinnect has already proven to be rather unpopular, this sort of investment would simply be throwing good money after bad. If you want voice control (and I mean that in a generic sense, as you've acknowledged that you personally wouldn't even want that feature), get a Kinnect.

        Or, or they could just allow USB mics like the Guitar Hero/Rock Band type of mics.

        • by Dutch Gun (899105)

          Or, or they could just allow USB mics like the Guitar Hero/Rock Band type of mics.

          Rock Band isn't even available on the newest consoles, is it? And I'm pretty sure you can't just plug in a generic USB mic or probably even a 360 version of a mic into your Xbox One. Even if USB mics could be hooked up and used, that's still a lot of work for a very minor feature. I have a hard time faulting MS for not supporting what I'd consider to be an edge case at best. The console will work just fine without voice support, after all.

          There's plenty else they've botched - this is actually something

  • Also streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu will no longer require Live Gold subscriptions which is $60/year. It would have been one thing if the Live Gold subscriptions included Netflix and Hulu fees but they don't. No other devices like Blu-ray players, Roku, AppleTV, etc charges a monthly fee to use apps. There will still be some apps that require Live Gold but these mainly have to do with the gaming aspects of Xbox.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      No other devices like Blu-ray players, Roku, AppleTV, etc charges a monthly fee to use apps

      No other devise offer actual value beyond access to app contents.

      Live Gold subscriptions which is $60/year

      Yearly subscriptions go on sale regularly for around $35 on Amazon and other sites. Even with Netflix and Hulu going free, I'm still going to keep mine due to the monthly free games (which you get to keep playing if your subscription expires, unlike with PSN). Just do the math:

      Monthly Xbox Gold Cost: $2.92
      June Free Game 1: Halo Spartan Assault: $9.99
      June Free Game 2: Max - The Curse of Brotherhood: $14.99
      June Free Game 3: Dark Souls: $19

  • Who messed up worse, Microsoft with Xbox One or George Lucas with the Star Wars prequels? Blows my mind that they couldn't figure out people would have a problem with a camera staring out into people's living rooms.
  • by realmolo (574068) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @02:30PM (#46992701)

    It's too little, too late. Sony has probably won this generation already. The Xbox One isn't a failure, but it is going to be relegated to second place.

    If Microsoft REALLY wanted to sell some systems and possibly win the war, they would do away with "Gold" Live! subscriptions, and make the full online experience free-to-all.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      It's too little, too late. Sony has probably won this generation already. The Xbox One isn't a failure, but it is going to be relegated to second place.

      Is that a bad thing?

      The good thing is the Xbone is viable. Because if it was just Sony, things would be even worse than it is. (Think PS3 launch - extra cost, etc. etc. that's something only done by someone cocky enough to "win").

      And hey, the Xbox360 won last time, and Microsoft got cocky.

      But second is still good, and it means neither can really screw you ov

      • by gameboyhippo (827141) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @04:28PM (#46993831) Journal

        And hey, the Xbox360 won last time

        The underpowered Wii won last time.

        • by donaldm (919619)

          And hey, the Xbox360 won last time

          The underpowered Wii won last time.

          In terms of High Definition consoles there were only two last generation consoles, the PS3 and the XBox360, so basically it was a two horse race of which the PS3 is currently winning in world wide sales. The Wii was only Standard Definition which sort of put it in the PS2, XBox and Game Cube camp.

        • by Dutch Gun (899105)

          And hey, the Xbox360 won last time

          The underpowered Wii won last time.

          I wonder if Nintendo is now paying the price for the Wii with sluggish Wii U sales?

          Speaking for myself, I was rather disappointed with the Wii, and ultimately purchased only a handful of titles for it, especially compared to my Xbox 360. You'll notice that even with high console sales numbers, Nintendo couldn't really relate that into significant game sales for anything except their first party titles. Now, with both gamers and publishers burned by Nintendo's last console, is it any wonder that their newe

    • The PC is making a comeback with gaming again.

      The consoles become popular as gaming pcs were thousands of dollars in 2000. It was a rich kids thing and 3d graphics started arriving on consoles. The DIYS market is heating up where for about the same price you can build a moderate pc with a moderate gaming card and be stuck with a controller. The PC market is shrinking but enthusiast and gamers are taking a large slice of that recently.

      Game makers who abandoned the pc 10 years ago because of the lack of DRM a

    • Running a network is expensive and a security/liability nightmare (as Sony found out) I don't have a problem with them charging for a service where identity is important.

  • by Kalren (152196) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @02:42PM (#46992827)

    I think it goes to show that the market for consoles has become more conservative. When you compare the PS4, XBone and the WII U(yes the Wii U is a part of the market), the PS4 is probably the most simple in its configuration. It doesn't have extraneous gimmicks like a Kinect camera or Wii U tablet that increase the cost of the system. Sure the controller has a LED and a touchpad,but it's not a huge new way of gaming that leads to more casually focused games.With the PS4, you only really get a box and a controller.

    The casual market that Microsoft and Nintendo built their machine to appeal to is already satisfied with their phones and tablets for their day to day fix. And for the majority of gamer in the market for a PS4 or XBone, they also have phones and tablets with a great selection of casual games. So when the choice is given between the different consoles, they choose the one with a more enthusiast focus. Their itch for casual games is already sated. And it doesn't hurt that the PS4 GPU is 30-50% more capable and at the same price as an XBone(Kinect-less SKU).

    • And for those that DO want the add-on experience, you can get a PS Vita and do a live stream for some games from the PS4 to it. (The combo is suddenly hugely popular among the FFXIV crowd since they can play an MMO on a hand held that way.) And play stand alone games on it too. You can't do that with the Wii U controller.
  • ... when these announcements start coming with an apology and resignation of whichever C-suite mandated the "feature".
  • by ianchaos (160825) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @05:06PM (#46994141)

    "Always on" issue - gone
    Gold Membership to use streaming apps - gone
    Bundled Kinect - gone

    Almost everything that people have complained about has been removed / improved / fixed. I know there is a long tradition of slamming Microsoft on Slashdot ... almost a sport really, but come on. They are doing exactly what we've been asking them to do and everyone is still bitching about it. I for one commend them for listening to feedback and addressing the issues that we've known were there from the start.

    I don't own an XBOX One, I'm a PC gamer, but I have to say I'm impressed to see a company that's willing admit their mistakes...I'm looking at you Nintendo...get your act together.

    • by donaldm (919619)

      I don't own an XBOX One, I'm a PC gamer, but I have to say I'm impressed to see a company that's willing admit their mistakes...I'm looking at you Nintendo...get your act together.

      I think many people are not impressed since a little market research would have informed Microsoft that all their initial requirements for the XBone (sorry they asked for this abbreviation) were not going to be appreciated by most of the people who would purchase a console. Having done all these back-flips they should have called their console XBox180 or XBox540 :)

      As for Nintendo, Sigh! I totally agree.

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @08:45PM (#46995555)

    Its nice that you've listened... its just too bad that you took this long to actually respond.

    Not a console gamer so I can't gauge how this effects anything. I'm PC gamer. The consoles of any brand are an irrelevance to me.

    But MS's launch of the One has seemed troubled from the beginning. I do wonder why they bother with it. MS could have done much better simply by releasing an actual MS windows PC with a console form factor and a console GUI dropped on top of the windows OS. That would have given the Xbox One cross platform game compatibility, legacy support for lots of things windows is compatible with an the one is not, given additional utility to MS windows systems that would be able to use things initially designed for the Xbox, and generally given the Xbox a big advantage over the Playstation.

    But they decided to go with another divergent incompatible OS with no legacy support even for most older xbox games. Its pathetic.

    Every console should be backward compatible with consoles of the same brand. At least build a reasonable emulator into each. And its deeply foolish for MS not to leverage their command of the desktop environment to gain an advantage over Sony.

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