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Microsoft Finally Selling Xbox One Without Kinect 227

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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  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @02:34PM (#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 Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:29PM (#46992697)

    You'll pardon me for not being thrilled that they've finally stopped charging a fee to use services which we already pay for. That they've finally stopped doing something they never should have done is good news, to be sure, but not exactly something to get excited about, given that all of their competitors (e.g. Nintendo, Sony, Apple, Google, Amazon, Roku, etc.) have been doing it the right way from the beginning with their boxes that connect to TVs.

  • by realmolo ( 574068 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:30PM (#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 Graymalkin ( 13732 ) * on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:47PM (#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.

  • Re:LOL (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @04:11PM (#46993151)
    Now that Bill Gates is back at the helm, I have more hope for Microsoft. Good riddance to Baldmer the sweaty blob.
  • 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 gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @05:28PM (#46993831) Journal

    And hey, the Xbox360 won last time

    The underpowered Wii won last time.

  • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @05:28PM (#46993833)

    As for the always-on requirement, sure, you can play the pedant by pointing out it only needed to phone home once a day rather than constantly, but that's pointless, since it does nothing to address why the requirement was such a source of contention. The reason it was annoying was because it immediately eliminated a number of valid and legitimate use cases in which gamers wouldn't have a regular connection to the Internet. In the armed forces? Too bad. Internet down for a few days? Too bad. Just moved? Too bad. Traveling? Too bad. Out at sea? Too bad. Vacationing in your summer cabin? Too bad. Don't want to connect devices that have no practical need to be online? Too bad. Don't think a company has any business tracking what you're doing with offline, disc-based, single-player games? Too bad.

    Well said. I think a lot of folks (apparently including MS execs) tend to fall into a bubble of sorts where they assume that since *they* have ubiquitous access to extremely fast, always-on internet, then *everyone* has access to extremely fast, always-on internet. It's certainly true that *most* people do at this point, but the fact that MS execs basically flipped the bird at anyone who didn't certainly [dorkly.com] didn't endear them to potential consumers. One more example: my brother works on a tug in Alaska - they currently have a 360 console in their boat, and the original Xbone plan would have ensured that they couldn't use it.

    Interestingly, this seems to be in midst of Microsoft's "arrogant" phase (well, more arrogant than usual) - the same time period in which they also dismissed customer feedback about Windows 8 usability. Having seen MS from the inside several times in the past, Adam Orth's comments don't seem out of line for an exec, except that most MS execs have the brains not to post things like that publicly. From his twitter history, Mr Orth obviously enjoyed trolling the internet, yet somehow seemed surprised when the internet eventually raged back. It seems that MS as a company finally figured out that even *they* can't afford to ignore so much consumer feedback or openly mock their customers, and seem to be taking a slightly more humble approach, at least in public. As bad as they are, could you imagine what MS would be like without competition from Sony? Oh, yeah, I can. Just think of the cable companies.

    I'm like you - own all three last gen consoles (and all three before that), and none of the current gen. For the first time, my first console might be a Playstation rather than an Xbox, but it will probably depend on who gets the first must-have game.

  • Re:Terrible Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @09:46PM (#46995563)

    The Kinect has been mandatory for a while now (including all of initial pre-launch development), yet still most of what we see are horrible, gimmicky Kinect games trying to turn an interesting piece of technology into a game controller, and outside of very specialized types of games (dancing games, exercise trainers, rail shooters, etc), it doesn't work half as good as a standard controller. Developers have been trying for years now to overcome the difficulties with lag and imprecision, and even with much improved hardware in its latest iteration, the Xbone still has significant problems in those areas. In the end, controlling your console with your body is still very much a gimmick, and doesn't justify 1/5th the price of the entire console.

    I own a Wii, and I became so sick of having to waggle a stick around during gameplay that I stopped buying Wii titles largely out of fear of how much unnecessary motion-control would be shoved into an otherwise excellent title. What's the point of waggling a stick back and forth when pressing a button accomplishes the same task faster, more reliably, and without straining your wrist? Motion control is a cute gimmick that, despite excellent sales of the Wii, ultimately proved to be more of a hindrance to most games than a help, as evidenced by the fact that no current gen consoles rely on motion control as a core component of their controller functionality.

    Motion control is now largely considered to be an ancillary function for game controllers, only used sparingly or judiciously as demanded by the gameplay. I think Kinect should fall into this same category - cool tech, but really not appropriate for most titles. If game developers want to add a few extra features here and there to optionally support the Kinect, or build a specialty title around Kinect since lots of people will still have them, nothing is stopping them from doing so.

Loose bits sink chips.