With the new announcement that Microsoft’s Kinect camera will not be mandatory, Microsoft have shown another unprecedented change of tack before release of their imminent lounge ruler. As IGN noted, the announcement gives rise to the possibility of a cheaper, Kinect-free Xbox One bundle, what wasn’t noted however was potentially how much cheaper it could be. Kinect 1.0 retailed at £129.99 on release, and price differences between 360 packs with Kinect and without differed by about £50, somewhere in-between those two figures is the likely price drop. £80 is the current price difference between PS4 and Xbox One. If MS choose to be aggressive enough, and they’ve certainly shown that they’re not against radical moves, they could undercut PS4.
The new head of Xbox division seems to be getting right back to basics with the launch, realising the core things that sold their console in the first place: Online chat, a simple focus on core games, and price. They’ve u-turned on pre-owned games, they’ve put a headset in the box and they’ve nixed the mandatory Kinect. Now MS have the opportunity to become the core gamer’s first choice: Cheapest, core games coming out their ears, and a familiar online service. One more push and we’ll really see a clash of the titans in November.