Microsoft is making big moves today with the announcement of a new Kinect-less Xbox One console, and the removal of the Xbox Live paywall for subscription based apps like Netflix and Hulu.
The new Xbox One without a Kinect will begin shipping on June 9, 2014, and will retail for $399.99; bringing it in-line with Sony’s PS4. The decision has already split gamers down the middle in terms of public opinion, but if anything it’s a clear sign the MS is responding to economic forces. The PS4 has outsold the Xbox One since last November, so MS had to do something drastic to help lessen the gap. Only time will tell if this move to release a new Xbox One without a Kinect will actually pay off or not.
Microsoft also confirmed that starting in June all Xbox One and 360 users will be able to use subscription based apps without needing a full Xbox Live Gold membership. Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and many other apps will no longer require you to pay an additional $50+ on top of the fees you already pay towards those services, which now positions the Xbox 360 and Xbox One to offer similar free experiences to gamers like the PS3 and PS4.
You can check out the full article on Microsoft’s site for additional details. The only other big news is that the “Games with Gold” program is being extended to the Xbox One in June, and that Xbox 360 owners can download Dark Souls for free during June as well.
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