Faced with a growing disparity in worldwide adoption between the Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, Microsoft in May announced that it would release a version of its new console without the Kinect motion and voice sensor. Doing so would bring the price of the Xbox One down to $399, placing it on equal price footing with the PS4. As the Kinect is still important to Microsoft’s long-term vision for the Xbox platform, however, the company promised to launch a standalone version of the product, enabling those who purchase the new cheaper Xbox model to someday upgrade.
Today, more than three months after Microsoft announced its “Kinect-less” Xbox One model, the company has finally revealed the details behind the standalone Kinect. The controversial sensor, which will be compatible only with the Xbox One (not the Xbox 360 or PC), will go on sale Tuesday, October 7 for $149.99.
When we announced the new Xbox One option, we also shared that we would deliver a standalone Kinect sensor for people that chose to purchase the sensor at a later date. We’ve always believed in the magic Kinect brings to Xbox One and today we’re excited to confirm that, beginning in October 7, fans will be able to purchase a standalone Kinect sensor for Xbox One.
As a bonus for purchasers of the standalone Kinect, Microsoft is throwing in Dance Central Spotlight, an upcoming motion-based music game with 10 songs, which launches for current Kinect owners on September 2.
A final note: Microsoft’s decision to launch a version of the Xbox One without a bundled Kinect may have paid off. The company notes that sales of the Xbox One have “doubled” since the introduction of the new cheaper model.
Separate from today’s announcement, Microsoft continues to sell a standalone Kinect for Windows PCs. Meant primarily for developers, this $199 accessory is not compatible with the consumer Xbox One console.