Six months after the initial release of its Xbox One, Microsoft plans to offer a new version of the game console for $100 less. Beginning on June 9th, the company will offer a version that does not include the Kinect motion sensor, starting at $399. Microsoft also announced that it will begin offering new features to Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners in June. For example, Hulu and Netflix subscribers will be able to use the apps for free, without the need for an Xbox Live Gold membership.
According to Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, the next generation of Xbox Live will include more free games and exclusive discounts. The “Games with Gold” and “Deals with Gold” programs will launch on Xbox One, and entertainment apps will be available for all Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners.
“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,” Spencer writes on Xbox Wire. “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 experiences including Internet Explorer, Skype, OneDrive and OneGuide will also be available to all Xbox customers.”
“Kinect remains an important part of our vision,” adds Spencer. “Many of you are using Kinect for Xbox One every day. In fact, more than 80 percent of you are actively using Kinect, with an average of 120 voice commands per month on each console.”
“The move marks the first significant discount by Microsoft since the company and rival Sony launched new consoles in November,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Sony’s PlayStation 4 was released at an entry price of $399. The $100 difference with the Xbox One was cited by some consumers as a reason they chose Sony’s device over Microsoft’s, while others claimed they would wait until Microsoft began lowering the Xbox One’s prices.”
Sony says it has sold more than seven million PlayStation units worldwide, while Microsoft has shipped five million Xbox One units to retailers.