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Xbox One…Now Without Kinect!

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It sounds like the inverse of the kind of sales pitch Microsoft wants to make, but there it is. For all the people who didn’t really want a tiny camera watching their every move when Xboxing it up, the Xbox One will soon be available without the Kinect. The best part is that Microsoft isn’t out to punish you for ditching their pet project – you’ll get access to all the games, all the media extras, and all the Xbox Live content, just without the Kinect. The Kinect-less Xbox One will arrive in stores June 9, and will sell for $400.

Microsoft has a few other goodies in store in the near future, too – for Xbox Live Gold subscribers or otherwise. First, for the Gold members – Games with Gold and Deals with Gold. Games with Gold has been around for a year on Xbox 360, periodically offering free games for Gold subscribers to download. Games with Gold will now be available on Xbox One, and will be tied to your subscription. In June, the free games for Xbox 360 will be Dark Souls, Charlie Murder, and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, while Xbox One owners will get the original Halo and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood.

Deals with Gold, which gives discounts of up to 50-75 percent on some games, including marquee titles, will also launch on Xbox One in June. The first discounts will be on Forza Motorsport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome, and there will also be a special VIP room for Gold subscribers on Xbox One, where you can find more free games, discounts, and other extras.

The best improvements might be for people who aren’t Gold subscribers, though – starting in June, most major media apps, from Netflix to Twitch to NFL, will be available to all Xbox owners, regardless of subscription status. That’s a huge win for everyone – it didn’t sit well with many that to use Netflix on Xbox, they had to pay two separate subscription fees. No longer – you only need to pay up to those individual services. If Microsoft wants to turn the Xbox one into a home media center, that’s a good way of doing it.

Press Release