Why removing the Kinect from the Xbox One is dumb… for Microsoft

If you weren’t aware of it, today Microsoft announced that they will start offering a Kinect-less Xbox One system for $399.99 as well as several other moves (Games with Gold for Xbox One and removal of the paywall for majority of  apps)  that make sense and should have been done years ago. First and foremost I totally agree that there should have been two different sku’s for the Xbox One at launch, there’s no way around that. But now that Microsoft has decided to finally introduce a Kinect-less Xbox One for $399.99, let’s look into what that means shall we?


The very first thing that pops into my mind and probably everyone else’s is that this move is to help sell more Xbox One units which is likely to be 100% spot on. Dropping $100.00 off the system and putting into PlayStation 4 territory (price-wise) can only help. On top of that it removes the Kinect from the equation which is also a smart move as many people out there simply hated the idea on paying extra for a device that is still unproven from a gaming standpoint and does add anything to gameplay… well nothing that can’t be replaced or sidestepped anyway.

So it’s a win-win for everyone, right?

Well for the gamers it is, but is it a good move for Microsoft?

Spec-wise the Xbox One is inferior to the PlayStation 4 and we’ve seen the result of that in several games that were released on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. So now that the Kinect is gone from the picture as a mandatory purchase what does that say about Microsoft’s commitment to the Kinect? This is the second time that they folded with the device now. On top of that now it’s at the same price point as the PlayStation 4 is there any remote reason to get the system now that the only thing that made the two systems different is gone? I really don’t understand why it took them 6 months to change their tune on the matter especially since system sales were so low before this point it should happened… well before today.

It seems like while Microsoft is FINALLY listening to the masses it also puts them in a certain spotlight. Who can truly trust a company who is constantly making changes to their once ironclad stances. First they changed their whole “DRM” requirement then they removed the requirement of the Kinect needing to be connected at all times in order to use the Xbox One, then there was the change to how Indie companies could now self publish titles on the Xbox One  and now then this. I wonder what’s next.

As much as I want to say this was a good choice to add a Kinect-less sku for the Xbox One I think it would have been an even better choice if they did this day one. Yes you’re going to sell more systems now and yes maybe more gamers will take the system a little more seriously but also keep in mind that all those people who picked up the Xbox One prior to June 9th are going to be a tad upset about making them wait regardless if they picked up the system on launch or even yesterday.

Does this change your stance on the Xbox One if you were already against the system and if you already do have an Xbox One how do you feel about the whole 180 from Microsoft?

And yes I do already own an Xbox One and yes you can point and laugh if you would like to do so.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.