Earlier this week we reported that Microsoft will be selling standalone Xbox Ones from June in the territories that already have it. Standalone as in “without the Kinect bundled with it”, a pretty big deal considering how hard Microsoft has been punting the voice-recognition and motion-detection benefits of the new Kinect sensor as being integral to the Xbox One’s capabilities.
Microsoft said in a statement that they did it to give gamers more choice, but gaming website Gameondaily.com has posited a theory that the real reason for the de-coupling of the Kinect from the Xbox One is sales-related. Well, duh.
Obvious problem is obvious
But instead of snark, Gameondaily’s theory was built on actual NPD sales figures: only 115 000 Xbox Ones were sold in the US in April. That’s less than the least the Xbox 360 ever sold, the site says, with the exception of April’s figures. That dip in 360 sales is to be expected as the previous console generation winds down and the new one takes over, but bodes poorly for the Xbox One which is facing stiff competition from Sony’s PlayStation 4.
On the other side of the next-gen battle, Gamespot says that Sony sold more next-gen consoles than Microsoft did for a fourth straight month in the US. Bringing the Xbox One’s price down to the same level as the PS4 ($399) and not forcing people to use the Kinect is possibly a step in the right direction, but it’s clear Microsoft is under a lot of pressure to turn things around.
Let the games begin
This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, where all the big players will show their cards looks set to be pretty entertaining, then. What makes me happy about all of this is it’s gamers that will win in the end, as Sony and Microsoft do everything in their considerable power to make their respective platforms more attractive.
And for South African Xbox fans, that should mean an Xbox One sans Kinect that costs around the same as the PS4 currently does (R6 799) when it launches in September.