As expected, Sony has been winning the next-gen consoles war. And the reason, while varying from person to person, is generally associated with one major factor: the PlayStation 4 costs $100 less than Microsoft’s Xbox One.
It’s still early in the race, but some thought that Microsoft might start to try to gain some ground on Sony with a lowered price announcement at E3 next month. But as it turns out, the company doesn’t want to wait that long. Microsoft has announced that a new Xbox One will be hitting store shelves next month that does not have the Kinect motion sensor included, which of course means that there will now be an Xbox option that costs the same $399 that the PS4 does.
Another thing that has had gamers upset for quite some time now, is the inability to do most things on their Xbox 360 and now Xbox One without the $60-per-year Xbox Live Gold membership. It’s one thing to require a Gold account to play multiplayer and so on, but not allowing users with a Silver account to use something else they pay for, such as Netflix, is something that has never gone over well.
Microsoft has decided to change this as well. Also starting next month, all Xbox users with or without a Gold membership will be able to use apps like Netflix, HBO Go, and many others.
If interested in reading the full announcement and seeing a full list of apps that will be available to all users, you can do so right here.
Microsoft definitely deserves some credit here. Whether it will all pay off for them in the end remains to be seen, but the fact that they’re hearing what people are saying and acting on that feedback is impressive. Most big companies simply ignore stuff like this and continue doing what they’re inside people feel is best.
The Kinect bundle will still be available for those who want it. And, if you’re like myself and aren’t sold on the Kinect while still being open to it becoming what we hoped it would be some day, you can grab the Kinect-less Xbox One next month and add a Kinect later this year when it’s made individually available.