No more Kinect, Only $399 Now, and No more paywall for 'streaming' apps like NetFlix
Just weeks before E3, Microsoft has done another huge 180 on their Xbox One Marketing plans, by dumping Kinect finally, and removing Xbox Live Gold from its apps, and dropping the price to $399 & more
Lots of people are wondering why Microsoft didn't wait until E3 for their big Press Conference to announce the huge changes to Xbox One , so they could hype up the 'listen to consumers' on stage and rape in all the free mainstream press coverage, but instead they decided to silently leak out the huge changes via MajorNelson and other blogs, and they are big ones.
No More Kinect.
Xbox One to be only $399 Now.
And no more paywall for Netflix, Twitch and other key apps, all FREE now.
Besides the above there is bunch of other changes listed below, and it seems M$ wants to remove that growing gap between their rival PS4, and even tho E3 is 5 weeks away, they can't afford to wait and allow that gap to get any bigger, and now going all-in to win this next-gen console war, with E3 being solely focused on their huge exclusive line-up of new games due to be release thru-out 2014/15.
Here is what Major Nelson said about the sudden changes to Xbox One:
First, beginning on June 9th, in all markets where Xbox One is sold, we will offer Xbox One starting at $399*. This is a new console option that does not include Kinect. For $399, our new Xbox One offering will continue to deliver access to the best blockbuster games like "Titanfall," "Call of Duty: Ghosts," "Forza Motorsport 5," "Dead Rising 3," and the upcoming "Watch Dogs," "Destiny" and "Sunset Overdrive." You will also be able to access popular entertainment apps, such as Twitch, YouTube, and Netflix, as well as watch live TV and use OneGuide. Finally, you will continue to be able to use many of the unique features of Xbox One including the ability to get game invites while you watch TV, switch between games and entertainment apps, enjoy Twitch broadcasts, and upload your favorite gaming moments.
Next, we're bringing more value to our Xbox Live Gold members while extending the entertainment experiences available through Xbox to every connected console. So, also starting in June, we will roll out a new set of benefits for our Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One and we will offer anyone who owns an Xbox 360 or Xbox One access to popular games and entertainment apps without an Xbox Live Gold membership. Here is what you can expect from the new generation of Xbox Live:
Free games with Games with Gold**. Since Games with Gold launched on Xbox 360 a year ago, over 12 million people have enjoyed great free games, resulting in nearly 200 million hours of free fun playing Games with Gold titles. We've been learning from your feedback and have focused on making improvements each month to the selection of titles. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Games with Gold for Xbox 360 and as a thank you for helping shape this program, members will receive an additional free Xbox 360 game in June. The Games with Gold titles for Xbox 360 in June are "Dark Souls," "Charlie Murder" and a bonus game of "Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition."
We're pleased to bring Games with Gold to Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One in June. Members will have subscription-based access to free games ranging from top hits to breaking indie stars. The program will launch on Xbox One with "Max: The Curse of Brotherhood" and "Halo: Spartan Assault." A single Gold membership will get you access to the free games for both Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Exclusive Discounts. Deals with Gold will also launch for Xbox One in June, delivering discounts for great games each month, with significant savings for Xbox Live Gold members. The first titles offered in June will include "Forza Motorsport 5," "Ryse: Son of Rome," and a few other surprises. This program will continue to be available for Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox 360. And new on Xbox One, we will launch a virtual VIP room exclusive to Xbox Live Gold members where we will feature free games, monthly deals, and other great benefits.
Popular entertainment apps will be available for all Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners. Xbox 360 has been a leader in delivering entertainment experiences for years, with over 170 global entertainment apps and experiences available today. We're constantly adding new partners and experiences to the growing catalog on Xbox One. Coming in June, anyone with an Xbox will be able to access popular entertainment experiences - whether or not you have an Xbox Live Gold membership. This includes great gaming apps like Machinima, Twitch and Upload, popular video services like Netflix, Univision Deportes, GoPro, Redbull and HBO Go, sports experiences like the NFL app for Xbox One, MLB.tv, NBA Game Time, NHL Game Center and more.*** Microsoft experiences including Internet Explorer, Skype, OneDrive and OneGuide will also be available to all Xbox customers.**** You can find a full list of apps and features that will be available below and here.
We've heard that you want more choices from Xbox One. You want a wide variety of options in your games and entertainment experiences and you also want options in your hardware selection.
To be clear, as we introduce this new Xbox One console option, Kinect remains an important part of our vision. Many of you are using Kinect for Xbox One every day. In fact, more than 80 percent of you are actively using Kinect, with an average of 120 voice commands per month on each console. Some of the most popular voice commands include "Xbox On," "Xbox Broadcast" and "Xbox Record That." We will continue to offer a premium Xbox One with Kinect bundle to deliver voice and gesture controls, biometric sign-in, instant personalization, instant scanning of QR codes, and enhanced features only available with Kinect in games such as "Kinect Sports Rivals," "Just Dance 2014," "Project Spark" and more.
Major Nelson ends his blog post, with the fact that Kinect will be available soon by itself for those that wish to jump into the Kinect experience this Fall after seeing the awesome power of Xbox One console by itself, without the game enhancing power of Kinect.
So what do you think about the sudden changes, and doing it a month before E3, will it make Xbox the winner over PlayStation?
On one hand I am not sure I would have announced this before E3, this seems like it would have been a show stealing move?
But on the other hand if there is some sort of announcement that Microsoft knows about that we the public do not and they are worried it's an even bigger one that might be the reason for blowing this load early.
This is turning out to be one of the most interesting E3's in a while
Sorry if this sounds fanboyish but this is something that should have been done from the get go, especially no longer having apps behind a pay wall.
Also, having used an Xbone after being leant one, I didn't find kinect "important" to the experience, I only used it for security and any voice recognition should be possible via a headset (a decent one mind you). That said, right now on Amazon a kinect bundle costs £379 so you're only saving £30 in the UK.
Hopefully though this move will keep the competition up, because I think the last thing we need is Sony having a real lead.
What just happened? MS giving in to customer demands.
Hahaha, of course not. We all know this is because the XB1 is selling like chocolate coated turds, and is reluctantly doing what they need to do to move units. Obviously, they had to carry over some of their actions to the Xbox360 as well (like eliminating the paywall for many apps), otherwise the 360 users would have raised hell.
Any who, it's starting to look a lot more palatable to buy now. I'll decide once I see Halo5 and GOW4. As for now, still happy with my 360.
My Consoles: Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Jaguar; Coleco Telstar Alpha, Telstar Ranger, Colecovision; Mattel Intellivision; Microsoft Xbox, Xbox360; Nintendo NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii; Sega Genesis w/cd, Saturn, Dreamcast; Sony PSX, PS2.
You know what, well done Microsoft for doing something right. This is bang on track, f#£k all the Xbox haters and bitch moaners.Great to see games for Gold coming to Xbox one too. Let the battle commence!!
Finally, took them long enough. Although the ps4 has a good head start and more power, hopefully from now on, the games will decide which console is better and nothing else. This is the way it should have been from the start.