It would possibly be the biggest U-turn of all, but chances of a Kinect-free Xbox One release have been dismissed by Microsoft.
A dubious report crediting an “anonymous source familiar with the matter” at Inside Gaming yesterday said that Microsoft was planning on releasing a version of Xbox One without the Kinect camera some time in 2014.
The site claimed that two Kinect-free SKUs were planned, one of which would feature a smaller hard drive and presumably a lower asking price.
However, a Microsoft statement issued to Game Front denied any such claim.
“We have no plans to introduce an Xbox One without Kinect,” it read. “We believe in Kinect and the value it brings to both games and entertainment, and believe $499 is a great value for what consumers receive with their Xbox One.”
Of course, the rumours always sounded unlikely. Microsoft clearly retains huge faith in Kinect and while games such as Ryse have ditched their reliance on the camera the peripheral remains a central component to both the Xbox One’s usability and its media-centric UI.
The only thread on which such a rumour could hang would be Microsoft’s rumoured desire to lower the launch RRP of Xbox One.
Sony reportedly ditched its Kinect-like PlayStation Eye from its PS4 SKU to allow it to undercut Xbox One. Microsoft will obviously have to cut something from the Xbox One box if it wishes to lower the price without eroding margins, although the company hasn’t been afraid to take a hit on its hardware in the past.