MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED that it will sell a Kinect-less version of the Xbox One for £349, while making entertainment apps available to those who don't have an Xbox Live Gold membership.
In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, Microsoft revealed plans to offer a cheaper version of the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor for £349 from 9 June. This comes after reports that Sony's Playstation 4 (PS4) has been outselling Microsoft's latest games console, likely due to its lower price.
Microsoft notes that if you later decide you want Kinect, it will offer a standalone sensor "later this fall". It's presently unclear how much that will cost.
Alongside a cheaper Xbox One console, Microsoft announced plans to make entertainment apps free to all gamers, meaning that users will no longer be required to have an Xbox Live Gold membership to access services like Netflix.
Microsoft said, "Coming in June, anyone with an Xbox will be able to access popular entertainment experiences - whether or not you have an Xbox Live Gold membership.
"This includes great gaming apps like Machinima, Twitch and Upload, popular video services like Netflix, Univision Deportes, Gopro, Red Bull TV and HBO GO, sports experiences like the NFL app for Xbox One, MLB.TV, NBA Game Time, NHL Game Center and more."
Microsoft also announced plans to offer Xbox 360 owners with a Gold membership a free game next month. The promotion celebrates the one year anniversary of Games with Gold, and includes titles such as Dark Souls and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition.
A new feature called Deals with Gold will also launch on the Xbox One in June, offering users discounts on games each month. Next month, discounted games will include Forza Motorsport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome.
Microsoft is promising that in the coming months it will offer savings of up to "50 to 75 percent". µ
Pre-orders to begin on 9 September with release to follow on 16 September
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You really, really, really can't say you weren't warned, like, a billion times
Where is your browser ballot now, citizen?