Pre-E3 and Microsoft appears to have dropped the big one by announcing a Kinect-free Xbox One unit for £349 to hit on June 9th - a couple of days before the start of E3 on June 11th.
Announced via a 'blog post' (yup, press released in the first person) by Phil Spencer, the wording included: "If you buy Xbox One for £349 and later decide you want to have all the experiences Kinect enables, we will also offer a standalone sensor for Xbox One later this fall (Autumn)."
The blurb also rather ingenuously began with this: "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."
There are also changes to Xbox Gold with the following lined up:
· Free games with Games with Gold2. Since Games with Gold launched on Xbox 360 a year ago, over 12 million people have enjoyed great free games, resulting in nearly 200 million hours of free fun playing Games with Gold titles... with additional free Xbox 360 game in June. The Games with Gold titles for Xbox 360 in June are “Dark Souls,” “Charlie Murder” and a bonus game of “Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition”.
• Games with Gold is also coming to Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One in June. Members will have subscription-based access to free games ranging from top hits to breaking indie stars. The program will launch on Xbox One with “Max: The Curse of Brotherhood” and “Halo: Spartan Assault”. A single Gold membership will get you access to the free games for both Xbox One and Xbox 360.
· Also in June (and as we reported this morning
), anyone with an Xbox will be able to access "popular entertainment experiences" – whether or not they have an Xbox Live Gold membership. This includes apps Machinima, Twitch and Upload, popular video services like Netflix, Univision Deportes, GoPro, Redbull and HBO Go, sports experiences like the NFL app for Xbox One, MLB.tv, NBA Game Time, NHL Game Center and more3. Microsoft experiences including Internet Explorer, Skype, OneDrive and OneGuide will also be available to all Xbox customers."More of the official blurbage here.