Today Microsoft and Phil Spencer have announced some fairly significant changes to their Xbox branded products, fanning the flames and announcing to fans and Sony, that the fight is far from over.
Beginning on June 9th, one day before the craziness at E3, the Xbox One will be made available without a Kinect sensor for $399. This decision, after the company has stated several times they do not have any plans to remove the Kinect, will allow those gamers who have always hated the idea of gesture based controls to possibly grab a system they feel is more tailored to them.
The Kinect will be made available in the future as a separate peripheral and one that Microsoft claims would be less than $100 in stores.
Along with this big reveal Microsoft have also opted to remove the Gold barrier to Apps and internet browsing for both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I have always been against this restricted wall and the leash that Microsoft puts you in once upgrading to Xbox Live Gold and find this news refreshing and, of course, required since both Sony and Nintendo do not have such a restriction. This change of policy will allow Xbox fans who do not pay for the Gold standard to still enjoy Apps such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and Internet Explorer without hindrance.
To finish off the news, Microsoft have revealed the “Games with Gold” anniversary announcement for June. Coming to the Xbox 360 will be Dark Souls, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and Charlie Murder. Three diverse and excellent games that are also much more recent than a Gears of War. Also, finally for Xbox One gamers, Games with Gold is coming to the system for the first time with Max: Curse of Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault.
These are some big changes for Microsoft and their Xbox division and no doubt in retaliation of Sony selling through 7 million units of the PlayStation 4. This console war has been the most shocking and exciting in recent memory and will no doubt, ultimately, mean great things for gamers everywhere.