Microsoft decision to slash the price of Xbox One by dropping Kinect could propel the console to the front of the American next-gen race.
IDC had previously predicted that Xbox One would take the lead in the territory by 2016 but now the firm reckons this will happen in 2015 instead.
"This change will be enough to push the Xbox One installed base higher than PS4 in the US and Canada in 2015 rather than 2016,” research manager Lewis Ward told Games Industry.
“It kind of reminds me of Microsoft's evolution on Windows and IE. The initial design needs some serious help and then improves to point of being a serious contender and then vies for market share dominance.”
The analyst added that he “continues to believe PS4 will have the largest global installed base of any console at the end of 2016”.
Fellow analyst Piers Harding-Rolls reckons that the move will have a more direct material gain for Microsoft aside from any potential boost to hardware sales.
“The cost of the Xbox One Kinect peripheral is well documented, with IHS' teardown team pegging the bill of materials at around $75,” he said. “By charging separately for Kinect at a similar price point to the original Xbox 360 Kinect it's conceivable that this may deliver more profitable sales to Microsoft in the long run.
"With two SKUs in the market, Microsoft has reverted to its Xbox 360 strategy. This gives the company some better flexibility with pricing, bundling and product positioning. Microsoft has already described the Xbox One with Kinect as the premium offering."