In an effort to revive gamer's interest in the next-gen home console, Microsoft today announced a Kinect-less version of the Xbox One. The new $400 (about Rs. 24,000 approximately) Xbox One will be available "in all markets where Xbox One is sold," said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. The Xbox One without Kinect will hit retail shelves in June.
The cheaper Xbox One will allow the company to directly match the $399 PlayStation 4 retail price. In addition, both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 will no longer require a Live Gold subscription to access streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and HBO Go. Coming June, Microsoft will introduce its games with Gold program on Xbox One. Sony does not charge a subscription fee to access streaming services on its PlayStation 4 system.
If buyers buy an Xbox One for $399 (about Rs. 24,000) and later want the Kinect motion controller, Microsoft says the standalone Kinect will be available for sale this fall. The company will continue to sell the Xbox One, with Kinect motion controller, for $499 ( about Rs. 30,000).
Microsoft's decision to take $100 off the price of its Xbox One (about Rs. 6,000) is seen as a strategic move to shift more consoles than the rival PlayStation 4. Of late, Microsoft has been facing tough competition in the home console business.
Sales of the Xbox One have clearly lagged in comparison to Sony's PS4 console.
Last month, Microsoft announced that it has sold over 5 million units of Xbox One since the device first went on sale on November 13 in 13 countries, including the United States and United Kingdom.
The PlayStation 4, on the other hand, had been the best selling console since its debut. In April, Sony had announced that the company shifted over 7 million units of the PS4 console worldwide. The PS4 home console is available in nearly 72 countries, while Microsoft's Xbox One could be made available in as many as 26 countries, including India, in September of this year. Microsoft has already shared its plans to release the Xbox One in China sometime in September time frame.
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