When Microsoft first revealed that they would be offering an Xbox One SKU without the Kinect 2.0, most figured the company was putting the first nail in their motion controller’s coffin. Then, when sales doubled after releasing the solo Xbox One, many figured that would be the end.
However, Microsoft remains committed to Kinect (for now) and today has announced a standalone unit for release on October 7th. The Kinect will come packaged with Dance Central Spotlight and will retail for $149.99. As far as we can tell, there will be no major differences between the Kinect bundled with the Xbox One and this standalone unit. There won’t be any improvements either.
That being said, it is a smart move on Microsoft’s part to bundle the sensor with Dance Central Spotlight, as the motion controlled dancing game has pushed plenty of Kinect sales. Some might even argue that Dance Central is the quintessential Kinect experience, or at least it was.
With the Xbox One, the Kinect’s utility has increased manifold, beyond just games. The sensor now lets gamers control their TV and entertainment devices, instantly broadcast through Twitch or YouTube, and even record gameplay clips. Personally, it’s those voice commands that make the Kinect worth the money, but only if you’re the type of gamer who would use those features. As far as games are concerned – outside of Dance Central and Fantasia: Music Evolved – things are looking pretty slim.
It’s also worth pointing out that purchasing this standalone Kinect would actually cost you $50 more than if you picked up the Xbox One bundle. Currently, an Xbox One with Kinect retails for $499, while an Xbox One without Kinect retails for $399 – making the bundled Kinect’s value in this case an even $100. But, as a standalone product, the Kinect retails for $149.99. Weird.
So while you may have the option of picking up Kinect by itself, it might be better simply to bite the bullet on an Xbox One bundle with the sensor. That is, if you aren’t planning on picking up one of the new Sunset Overdrive bundles, which comes with a white Xbox One.
Will you be picking up a standalone Kinect unit? What game might entice you to buy a Kinect?
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