Amazon has the Xbox One Standard with Kinect available for pre-order for $399.99. The console will be released on June 9, which just happens to be the same day as Microsoft’s E3 media briefing. The Kinect-less console has not shown up for pre-order at Best Buy, GameStop, Microsoft Store or Walmart at the time this article was posted but expect it soon.
The option to purchase the Xbox One without a Kinect and at a cheaper price has been a long time coming. Both Microsoft and the console have faced withering criticism ever since the Xbox One was revealed to have a $499.99 price and Sony announced the Playstation 4 would launch at $399.99.
This puts the two consoles on the same footing price wise but the PS4 gained a quick lead over its main competitor thanks to a wider release worldwide and a positive word of mouth. Microsoft is clearly aiming to rectify the mistakes made over the past year and new Xbox head Phil Spencer appears to be an integral motivating force behind that.
In addition to the price drop, Microsoft also announced the requirement to have an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription to access entertainment apps on both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 will go away starting in June. That means you’ll be able to watch Netflix and Hulu Plus or use Internet Explorer or Skype without the $40 to $60 a year subscription (depending on where you buy it).
Additionally, the Games with Gold program is coming to the Xbox One starting with “Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood” and “Halo: Spartan Assault” while the existing Xbox 360 version of the program is expanding to three games in June and will start with “Dark Souls,” “Charlie Murder” and “Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition.”