Phil Spencer, the new head of the Xbox division, made the announcement following nearly a year of calls for Microsoft to drop the camera to make the console more affordable. The new console will be available June 9 in all markets where the Xbox One is sold.
Despite the power discrepancy between the Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4, the weaker console retailed for $100 more -- leading to a substantial sales gulf worldwide. Microsoft continued to deny a Kinect-less SKU would ever be sold, but the dwindling sales ultimately forced their hand. Spencer said this announcement was in direct response to feedback received from gamers.
"Since the beginning, we have focused on delivering great games and entertainment experiences for you," he said. "Your feedback matters to us and it changes the products and services we build. Since the beginning, we have focused on delivering great games and entertainment experiences for you. Your feedback matters to us and it shapes the products and services we build. Your feedback showed up in the Xbox One console we launched back in November and in the monthly updates we’ve delivered since."
Those that purchase this new, cheaper console who later want a Kinect add-on will have to wait until later this year to purchase the accessory separately. Spencer said a standalone Kinect will be available for purchase in the fall, but more details will not be available until the coming months.