Microsoft have finally admitted defeat in its pricing strategy and will now drop Kinect 2.0 from Xbox One consoles, which will now be $100 cheaper at $399 to match the price of the rival PS4.
With $100 cheaper Sony's PS4 selling in huge numbers, and the Xbox One lagging severely in all markets around the world, Microsoft has finally heeded the advice of analysts who have been calling for a price drop, via the removal of Kinect from the console bundle, for several months now.
Microsoft previously justified the decision to include Kinect 2.0 with every Xbox One console by saying the motion sensor device was "essential" to the Xbox experience. The inclusion meant that Microsoft's console had to be more expensive than Sony's PS4. This has allowed Microsoft's previously dominant position in the U.S. market to be lost to Sony in the space of a couple of months, something that Microsoft has now decided to correct.
Microsoft says this decision is based on user feedback, and that the core functionality of the Xbox One console will not be affected by the lack of a Kinect camera.
"Today, we're excited to share more ways your feedback is impacting the products we build. 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," Microsoft said via a statement.
This is the second major reversal from Microsoft in regards to the Xbox One, with Microsoft removing the "always-on" DRM requirement prior to the console's launch due to a huge public backlash.
In a further move to placate gamers, Microsoft has removed the requirement for an Xbox Live Gold subscription for users of entertainment apps, such as Netflix. Previously, users had to pay an additional fee to Microsoft to use apps like Netflix on top of the Netflix subscription fee.