This past week, Xbox revealed a new Kinect-less bundle that will be priced to compete much more closely with Sony’s PS4. With Sony seeming to have won the first battle in the new console generation, will this latest move allow Microsoft to close the gap? Have they already given up on their big Kinect push?
One of the biggest factors heading into post the Xbox One’s and the PS4’s launch was the price point, the One would cost almost £80 more than their Sony counterpart due to the Kinect being bundled with it. That has led to a lot of people to simply go for the cheaper machine as there isn’t too much difference between the performance of the two boxes and in the beginning there wasn’t many good exclusives to choose from either.
This was a good move in that sense; both because it will hopefully bring in people that despise the Kinect as well as attract those that were simply put off by the price point. It’ll make it much more of a direct competitor to the PS4 and now that both have a good slew of games ahead of them, people can make a decision on games rather than money.
Another issue raised from a Kinect-less bundle is that it might have a knock on effect to companies working on games for Kinect and also the future for motion controls altogether. Without the guaranteed number of the camera peripheral for publishers to look at, now they might feel that creating games with Kinect in mind has more risk than potential reward.
However, they will take heart in how surprisingly well the Playstation camera has done despite it not being bundled in with the PS4. They would have looked at that before making that decision, which would have also reaffirmed their own belief that people want motion controls and the concept isn’t quite dead in the water.
There are more pluses coming out of Xbox recently with them also announcing the introduction of Games with Gold to the Xbox One very soon. It’s a good move that the Playstation Plus has taken advantage of since launch so they still have some catching up to do but it’s a positive step. They will also have to improve from the games selection they had on the Xbox 360 because they could face a backlash for putting out old or poor content for free.
Behind all this looms the rising sun which is the E3 conference in June. With both having devices available heading into the event at “reasonable” prices, they will now have to go out all-guns blazing showing off exclusives to come for both consoles. That will be the next big battle that both face and a win for Sony could knock Microsoft off its perch but an impressive showing by Xbox could make things very interesting heading into the Christmas period.