Microsoft has done the unthinkable; deciding tounbundle the Kinect from the Xbox One. The move to drop Kinect is the company's latest strategy boost Xbox One sales since the console has been playing second fiddle to the PlayStation 4.
The big question right now, is whether or not this move can help the Xbox One, or is it too late for Microsoft?
The Kinect was the one unique component of the Xbox One; it set the console apart from the PlayStation 4, it allowed gamers to control their Xbox One without lifting the controller, and it had the potential to bring forth a lot of unique video games. However, dropping the Kinect does bring down the price of the console considerably.
Looking back at the year 2013, Microsoft had a difficult time selling the vision it had for the Xbox One. Moreover, gamers lamented the fact that the XBox One had difficulty running games at a true 1080p resolution.
However, with the removal of the Kinect, Microsoft may finally have a chance to bounce back into the game and keep up with the Sony. The PlayStation 4 is well over 7 million units sold to consumers while the Xbox One is over 5 million units sold through to retailers. This has a lot to do with the Xbox One costing $499, and the PlayStation 4 costing $399. In addition, video games are said to perform better on Sony's console.
At $399, Microsoft may definitely see an increase in sales for their latest generation console, especially in the United States. For this to happen though, Microsoft would need to perform well at E3. The company will have no choice but to show gamers why they need to purchase the Xbox One, and pray that Sony doesn't announce a price-cut of its own. Since Sony is also struggling with keeping their console business afloat, a price cut may be unlikely.
As it stands right now, the Xbox One has gained a new lease on life, but the Kinect has been thrown in front of a firing squad for that to happen.However, Microsoft won't kill the Kinect completely since it is still essential to its plans going forward. Consumers seen several set-top boxes launching with voice and gesture controls, this is because controlling things with gestures and voice is slowly becoming relevant.
Microsoft can't allow other competing products to swoop in and take control of this space, so the software giant will have little to no choice but to improve on Kinect. It might not be relevant for playing video games anymore, but for controlling media and the Xbox One overall, the Kinect will continue to shine.
If there is ever another Xbox after this, and its almost certain there will be, consumers expect Microsoft to learn from its mistakes and come back with all guns blazing.