Microsoft has slashed the price of its Xbox One console and is offering the device without the accompanying Kinect motion-control system.Beginning on June 9, Microsoft will offer the Xbox One for $399 in all markets where it’s sold — a $100 price cut from the bundled version with Kinect. Customers can place preorders now.
In a post Tuesday morning, Microsoft also announced the Xbox One and older Xbox 360 console will no longer require a Live Gold subscription, which cost $60 a year, to access streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and HBO Go.
“Your feedback matters to us and it shapes the products and services we build,” said Xbox chief Phil Spencer in announcing the move, which suggests Microsoft heeded gamers’ complaints that the Xbox One was too expensive.
With the move Microsoft is pricing the Xbox One in direct competition with rival Sony’s PlayStation 4, which also costs $399. Both consoles launched to great fanfare last November, although the PS4 has outsold the Xbox so far.
The PS4 does not charge a subscription fee for access to streaming services.
If customers buy an Xbox One for $399 and later decide they want Kinect, Microsoft said a standalone Kinect sensor will become available for sale this fall. And Microsoft will continue to sell a premium Xbox One system, with Kinect, for $499.
Kinect lets users control their Xboxes, and in-game avatars, through voice commands and by moving their bodies to simulate movements in a game. More than 80% of Xbox One owners are actively using Kinect, Microsoft said Tuesday.