By Alexandra Burlacu | May 14, 2014 08:24 AM EDT
Starting on June 9, Microsoft will give gamers the chance to purchase an Xbox One without the Kinect voice and gesture controller, which will bring the price down to $399.
Microsoft is making this move in response to customer feedback, as not all Xbox fans want or need Kinect.
"We've heard from people that they just like to play games with a controller in their hand and what we wanted to do was make sure that for those people there's a version of Xbox that really meets the exact needs that they have," explained Phil Spencer, head of Xbox.
According to Spencer, roughly 80 percent of Xbox users actually use Kinect to control their console, addressing an average of 120 voice commands per user per month. The most popular commands are "Xbox On," "Xbox Broadcast," and "Xbox Record That," Spencer added.
While Microsoft had previously highlighted just how essential Kinect was to the Xbox experience, the company is now ready to step back a bit and listen to consumers. The Xbox One wouldn't even work without Kinect at first, but Microsoft later dropped that limitation just before launch over some privacy concerns.
Consumers who like and want Kinect can still buy the full Xbox One package complete with the Kinect controller, for the standard price of $499. Those who don't want Kinect, meanwhile, can pay less and get only the Xbox One console for $399, which puts it on par with the Sony PlayStation 4.
So far, Sony's PlayStation has surpassed Microsoft's Xbox in sales worldwide, but this new move to sell the Xbox for $399 may boost its success. Spencer further added that both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One will now allow users to enjoy streaming applications such as Netflix, Skype, YouTube, and others such without having to pay Microsoft $10 per month or $60 per year for an Xbox Live Gold subscription. Kinect will alco become available as a standalone offer later on.
"If you buy Xbox One for $399 and later decide you want to have all the experiences Kinect enables, we will also offer a standalone sensor for Xbox One later this fall. We'll share more details about the standalone Kinect for Xbox One in the coming months," added Microsoft.
Lastly, Spencer further said that Live subscribers will also get an array of free games, as well as 50 - 75 percent off the cost of new titles for the Xbox One. Moreover, they will also get access to a "virtual VIP room" that will grant them some free kits and some neat discounts for other products.
To learn more about Microsoft's new move, check out the video below.
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