Print 48 comment(s) - last by someguy123.. on Jun 10 at 9:25 PM

Xbox One leaves the Kinect camera accessory behind in exchange for a lower price tag

As promised, Microsoft is today opening up sales of its Xbox One console that isn’t bundled with the Kinect camera accessory. First announced back in mid-May, the Kinect-less console won’t hit your wallet as hard thanks to its price tag of $399 ($100 less than the Xbox One/Kinect bundle and the same price as the PlayStation 4).
It should be noted that forgoing the Kinect camera accessory allows for up to a 10 percent boost in GPU performance, and Microsoft is currently working with developers to open up those resources to improve gaming performance.

But if you still wish to purchase the Kinect accessory at a later date, Microsoft will make the standalone camera available in the fall at “select retailers.”
The new $399 Xbox One SKU is available from the usual suspects including the Microsoft Store, Best Buy, Newegg, and Amazon.

Source: Microsoft Store

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This is what Microsoft needed from the start.
By Flunk on 6/9/2014 9:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
Hurray for choice! Will it more consoles at this point? Who knows, it's a shame this wasn't what they launched with because they're going to be fighting upstream all the way now.

RE: This is what Microsoft needed from the start.
By Manch on 6/9/2014 9:56:58 AM , Rating: 3
MS is messing up big time. I dont like the direction that MS has been going as of late. They just screwed everyone that bought the system with the Kinect.

They should have just dropped the price to $399 with Kinect. They did have the Titan Fall Bundle at $450 with game!.

Now you have two consoles that are equally priced. The PS4 however is still more powerful. If you play multiplatform games then of course PS4 is the way to go. Unless XBOX has exclusives that you want.

The whole purpose of bundling the Kinect was to ensure that the experience was equally available for everyone. This would entice developers to take advantage of it bc the feature would be there! They could have made kinect only features that would be integral to the game vs complimentary at best. Now it will be like the previous one. An add-on that some developers will do some gee whiz thats neat crap for but nothing special. No developer will intentionally lock out part of a user base. It's just not in their interest.

RE: This is what Microsoft needed from the start.
By Flunk on 6/9/14, Rating: 0
By Manch on 6/9/2014 10:16:05 AM , Rating: 2
I tend to game on PC for certain games (The witcher series, BF, ArmA Series, VBS, and any game made by Crytek). I do play the consoles with my brothers, and other family members that dont spend money on gaming rigs.

I dont think they've lost the console race. They will still do very well. They have exclusives that people like and will be system sellers.

Add-ons have never done overly well bc not everyone has them. Splitting the userbase like this just turned the kinect into an add-on aka nothing truly unique will come of it.

By quiksilvr on 6/9/2014 11:16:18 AM , Rating: 3
It's next to impossible to build a PC with similar specs for only $400. Granted, you do get much more customization with games in order to get better frame rates, but this is something consoles should be able to do as well. We just need developers to give us the option.

By FITCamaro on 6/9/2014 12:57:33 PM , Rating: 3
Watch Dogs is making me regret PC gaming though. On PC my headset doesn't work because the game doesn't work with Dolby Digital sound which is all my headset supports. Plus all the performance problems. It'd just work on PS4.

By FITCamaro on 6/9/2014 12:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and I've spent more time trying to get the game working right than actually playing it. Only in the end have to wait for a patch for certain things to work right or work at all.

By retrospooty on 6/9/2014 3:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... The "PC Master race" has it's issues, especially with newer games and newer video cards. Secondly as you mentioned "other" compatibility problems with various hardware.

It's all fixable, and generally does get fixed with drivers, tweaks etc, but sometimes it can be a pain in the arse when all you ant to do is play that new game.

By someguy123 on 6/9/2014 5:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
Wait, what? What headset only supports dolby digital? How exactly do you watch video streams or even listen to regular music? All "dolby compatible" devices are simply regular audio equipment with a built in DAC that licenses dolby decoding, bypassing the need for a receiver.

Problem with watchdogs is that ubisoft is garbage and the port is broken. dolby 5.1 gives no audio. the current workaround is setting your speakers to 2.1 instead of 5.

By StevoLincolnite on 6/9/2014 6:46:15 PM , Rating: 1
It's next to impossible to build a PC with similar specs for only $400.

I wouldn't say that... I had a Core 2 Duo PC a secondary machine that I have had for god-knows-how-many-years, grabbed a Core 2 Quad Q9500 CPU from a swap meet for $20, overclocked it to 3.8ghz, threw in 8Gb of DDR2 ram that I had laying around...

And then when I upgraded my main system, I threw one of the old Radeon 6950's that unlocked into a 6970 into the machine.

So despite the majority of the guts being 6-7 years old, it still runs all previous generation and most of next generation games thus far at max/high settings at 1080P with 30fps or better, once I upgrade my R9 290's, that machine will have one of those.

You could buy a 6950 for roughly $100-$150 AUD off ebay these days, 8Gb DDR2 Ram is easy enough to come across for next to nothing if you know where to look.

By retrospooty on 6/9/2014 10:09:48 AM , Rating: 3
"MS is messing up big time. I dont like the direction that MS has been going as of late."

??? That is odd. I feel like they did go astray for hte past 2-3 years but are quite apparently turning it around as of the past 1-2 quarters... They are fixing hte start menu, they backtracked on every draconian measure they were going to put on the XBO. Unfortunately, they cant change the hardware, its too late, so using DDR3 will always be it's weakness, but as for MS, it looks clear to me they are at least trying.

"They just screwed everyone that bought the system with the Kinect."

How does the existence of a $400 Kinectless system screw people that bought a $500 Kinect system?

RE: This is what Microsoft needed from the start.
By Manch on 6/9/2014 10:20:18 AM , Rating: 2
That's great that they are adding the start button back but it's not like it's a new feature. They sure as hell are toting it as one though! They did back off on th eBS that they initially announced with the xbone which is good too.
Over the past couple years MS has moved towards this walled garden BS. Google does what MS used to do. Here's the system, go nuts. Now everything is locked down or tied to the cloud or whatever. I still lke their products but it has been disappointing the way they have done things as of late.

If you read thru my previous post I explained how they are fracturing their userbase.

By retrospooty on 6/9/2014 10:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
"Over the past couple years MS has moved towards this walled garden BS"

Yup, and at least they are backing off. I know the start button isn't a "new" feature, but it's return and more importantly the upcoming hybrid start menu shows they at least got the message and that arbitrary draconian polices designed to bolser their business and NOT give users what they want will be met with contempt.

"If you read thru my previous post I explained how they are fracturing their userbase."

I did, that is kind of why I asked... Forcing the system be a certain way to "entice" dev's to use it in the way MS wants them to use it sounds a lot like the "arbitrary draconian polices designed to bolser their business and NOT give users what they want".

By Manch on 6/9/2014 11:20:49 AM , Rating: 2
I see what you're sayin but my thing is Kinect was supposed to be integral to the system. They are getting beat by Sony and they are taking measures to create short term gain. You're right the hardware is set in stone. It's weaker than the ps4 so they need to offer better value to get people to buy the system. Having the Kinect bundled I don't see as draconian, not allowing that 10% to be used elsewhere if the developer doesn't want to implement Kinect functionality is. O think MS could have kept their vision of the Xbox one and still do away with the draconian policies. To me selling a kinectless xbone is waving the white flag and abandoning a unique part of their console that could have added to the value of the system.

By damianrobertjones on 6/9/2014 10:47:42 AM , Rating: 1
Rubbish. Sorry but it is. What is a Chromebook? A basically rubbish laptop, with limited hardware and space, tied straight into the cloud. How did you miss that? MS is still a wide open platform and, in all honesty, MS HAD to do something with regards to a store and the surge of tablets.

I bet if they didn't, right about now, people would be stating that they're old and tired and missed the tablet period.

By Manch on 6/9/2014 11:45:31 AM , Rating: 2
Fair enough. You'll get no argument from me about Chromebooks. I was referring mainly to Android. I should have been specific. Sorry about that.

I want to see MS succeed in the tablet space. I dont like RT but I do like the baytrail tablets(I have a Dell V8 Pro)and I would love to see x86 in phones as well. I truly like the idea of one OS to rule them all. Just not one UI to rule them all.

RE: This is what Microsoft needed from the start.
By Manch on 6/9/2014 10:32:21 AM , Rating: 3
Here's my issue with offering the kinectless version. Add-ons have never done great bc not everyone has one. Bundling Kinect ensured this. There are a lot of features that could have been integrated into games that would be awesome.

lean control-simply leaning your self left or right to lean out of cover in an FPS would actually be quite immersive. How many times have you played a game or seen someone playing leaning or whatever like its going to effect what happens in the game bc they're so immersed into it?

Heart rate detection/IR- could be used to alter the difficulty of a game level or alter scripted events/triggers based on what it detects as your stress level.

These are just a couple things that I thought would be cool that they could implement. Developers will not spend time though to try these things or bake them into the game with any meaning if 100% of the userbase doesnt have a kinect. So now it will be relegated to add-on status.

Lastly, gain 10%?! Really? They're putting that out like it's a feature?! Come on! Even with it plugged in, MS could simply allow a game developer to disable the kinect if they have no intention of using it for their game. MS has some really bad spin doctors working in their PR department.

By retrospooty on 6/9/2014 11:21:02 AM , Rating: 2
"Here's my issue with offering the kinectless version. Add-ons have never done great bc not everyone has one. Bundling Kinect ensured this."

I do see your point, but when MS forces things like this the result is always bad for end users. If you have to force it, it probably want worthy.

"lean control-simply leaning your self left or right to lean out of cover in an FPS would actually be quite immersive. How many times have you played a game or seen someone playing leaning or whatever like its going to effect what happens in the game bc they're so immersed into it?"

Agreed, and when you actually see people play using Kinect, the look on their face is like a child at Christmas - total joy... Great for certain types of games, especially for kids, and workout/dance games... But the tech just isn't ready for FPS, sorry, its not. I would LOVE to see it, but right now, it's just not responsive enough or as precise as it needs to be. When it's ready, devs will use it. Forcing it isn't going to get you there.

"Lastly, gain 10%?! Really? They're putting that out like it's a feature?! Come on! Even with it plugged in, MS could simply allow a game developer to disable the kinect if they have no intention of using it for their game. MS has some really bad spin doctors working in their PR department."

No argument there. The best solution would be to have used faster GDDR5, but that ship sailed, it's too late. There really is no fixing that, just a choice of which bad way to deal with it.

By someguy123 on 6/9/2014 6:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
The GDDR is not as big of an issue as the gpu itself. I don't know why people believe it is (probably the ps4's marketing campaign). The biggest issue it causes is with multiplatform porting. Most companies are obviously going to just drop render targets and try to shove as much as they can on the esram until they get their pipeline updated, and scapegoating helps them keep their jobs. The xbox's bandwidth is enough considering low gpu specs.

Historically consoles have used varying degrees of embedded ram, and there is a real benefit of reduced bandwidth contention, immediate access, and reduced access contention. PS4 has a 20gb/s dedicated cpu bus for the very purpose of avoiding contention (cpu being much more latency dependent than gpus), so even sony realizes this is a problem. Downside is obviously resource management when trying to keep low bandwidth ops on DDR and managing the size of high band ops on esram, but developers have been doing this for decades and it's not a new problem. Each configuration has its own set of problems and ps4 games are looking better mainly thanks to a better gpu as well as better inhouse artists.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/2014 6:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
Yes but Microsoft put a cache on the SoC to help with bandwidth, which caused them to compromise on GPU power as well due to size constraints.

Meaning the Xbox One has less memory bandwidth AND GPU power.

By someguy123 on 6/9/2014 7:10:18 PM , Rating: 2
That is true; the xbox one is definitely not as powerful, but the reason is not bandwidth as much as it is the oversized, hard to cool SoC and slow gpu. The whole GDDR vs esram problem is just marketing pushed by sony to make it seem as though there is a huge architectural gap when the practical difference is just more shaders, rops, and initially less overhead (assuming microsoft lets developers dump kinect resources completely now). This is mitigated further by advancements like hardware support for PRT/sparse on both platforms, which is a huge performance boost for small embedded ram systems if implemented. I think people should be more focused on the terrible SoC specs than the theoretical differences in bandwidth.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/2014 8:13:51 PM , Rating: 2
No offense, but if using GDDR was just a marketing thing by Sony, than why does EVERY discreet video card on the planet use it? I think even the most cheap ass no-name card on Amazon is rocking GDDR. It's for graphics, after all.

I agree bandwidth alone isn't the Xbox's problem though, sure.

By someguy123 on 6/10/2014 1:20:47 AM , Rating: 2
GDDR isn't a gimmick in itself. You definitely want as much bandwidth as possible while factoring in cost. At the same time the normal configuration would be with system and VRAM rather than unified access. Two pools are actually preferable in most aspects of 3D rendering performance, except GPGPU where you're forced into some redundancy for mixed access.

GDDR5 vs esram/ddr3 is their marketing spin. Having similar architecture with higher specs doesn't sound as good as "revolutionary" hUMA and "supercharged" GDDR5. The hardware is better but due almost entirely to better spending (performance wise). Xbox's memory layout is pretty much par for the course considering the poor soc specs.

By damianrobertjones on 6/9/2014 10:45:20 AM , Rating: 2
Damned if they kept it... Damned it they don't.

MS simply cannot win with people and if you read back people were screaming 'release the One without kinect'. They have... Yet here is your post. Oh well

By retrospooty on 6/9/2014 10:51:40 AM , Rating: 1
A few people complaining online isn't exactly "damned". I think most people would agree the option was good.

The bad decision was putting slow DDR3 on the XBO in the first place. It probably saved MS $10-$20 per unit if that (keep in mind they buy in bulk, by the millions). Clearly that was a bad choice and MS sees that now, but its too late to change it, it is what it is.

Being that it is what it is and cannot be changed, making a Kinectless option that is not only cheaper but frees up 10% of the memory bandwidth that Kinect reserved is a good thing IMHO.

By arazok on 6/9/2014 12:16:49 PM , Rating: 1
I agree 100%. The Kinnect was the only thing that differentiated the Xbox from PS4. Now they are the same price, same features, but the PS4 has better hardware. The PS4 is the better choice now that Kinect is dead.

And it is dead. Making it optional means nobody will invest in games for it. It means MS is going to invest less to develop it. It means it’s going to wither and die another slow death, just like every product MS creates that doesn’t instantly sell like a blockbuster. It’s the next media center.

MS should have eaten the cost and learned from its mistakes for next time. They would still be turning huge profits if they did. This is a really short sited decision.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/2014 1:55:28 PM , Rating: 3
They just screwed everyone that bought the system with the Kinect.

I have to agree. People were told the Xbox was $100 more because of the Kinect, that it was an integral part of the console and was going to usher in bla bla whatever.

Now a few months later, ooops never mind all that guys, the Kinect is actually optional. Sorry about the hundred clams you blew on an, apparently, failed accessory you probably didn't want and don't need.

This is the death kneel in whatever plans MS had in the Kinect being more than an idle curiosity.

By damianrobertjones on 6/9/2014 10:43:51 AM , Rating: 3
It didn't matter what they released as the press would STILL have found ANYTHING to put MS down. It's fashionable.

By Nevets97 on 6/9/2014 12:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
I am not sure of Microsoft's original intent with releasing the One with the Kinect and now offering it without it , but it seems like it could possibly work out in their favor in the long run. With the console initially being released with the Kinect bundled with it it , it gave Microsoft more of a certainty that the number of people that had a kinect would probably be high enough that developers would develop games that do use it. Now Microsoft having that large enough user base with a Kinect can work on competing with the PS4 more on price. I know everyone's story is different , but I have a 360 and was holding off on upgrading until the XBox One dropped in price.

Nice try, but still too expensive...
By Xanthrick on 6/9/2014 9:49:52 AM , Rating: 2
Why pay the same price for something that is considerably slower than the competition? Maybe $300 or even $350... but pay the same price for less? Do they think they're Apple?

RE: Nice try, but still too expensive...
By Manch on 6/9/2014 10:01:25 AM , Rating: 2
It's slower but not considerably slower. It's one CU short of the PS4. As far as the memory goes, yeah it's lower bandwidth but considering the chips that are in them, not a whole lot of difference it will make.

You're right though. Why pay the same price for slower? Like I siad in my other post, unless there are exclusives you want on XBOX there's no reason to get one.

Fracturing their userbase with the kinectless offering is stupid. Should have just dropped the price to $399 with kinect. That would have at least been compelling.

RE: Nice try, but still too expensive...
By mike66 on 6/9/2014 10:21:52 AM , Rating: 1
It's slower but not considerably slower.

MS seems to think that it is slower enough to disconnect the Kinect, by doing so xbox1 gains a 10% resource/speed increase. There is a new developers kit to write games to use the spare resource.
Looks to me that Sony has won the console war hands down, out selling Nintendo, cheaper and more powerful than MS.

By Manch on 6/9/2014 10:35:25 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah lol, and they're toting it as a feature! I think Sony will continu to outsell them too but the XBOne will solider on just fine and turn a deent profit for MS. It would do even better if they stop being dumb. MS should be able to turn off the kinect without having to physically disconnect it. and turn it back onwithout having to reserve 10% for it too.

RE: Nice try, but still too expensive...
By GulWestfale on 6/9/2014 10:44:45 AM , Rating: 2
yes, it is considerably slower. in addition to having somewhere around 40% less graphics power, the xbox one has far less memory bandwidth. it also has far less RAM available, as 3GB are occupied by the OS. sony however included an extra 256MB that is separate from the 8GB main RAM just for its OS. so all told, the xbox one is clearly less powerful than the PS4.

i'm not a sony fanboy, i play on the PC ;)

RE: Nice try, but still too expensive...
By FITCamaro on 6/9/2014 12:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
PS4 and Xbox One have roughly the same amount of memory available to games.

RE: Nice try, but still too expensive...
By GulWestfale on 6/9/2014 6:14:02 PM , Rating: 2
not according to developers, who have recently stated on here that MS wastes 3GB just on the OS.

The Xbox One has 8 Gigabytes (GB) of DDR3 -- specifically, sixteen 4-Gigabit (Gb) modules (H5TQ4G63AFR-TEC) from SK Hynix Inc. (KRX:000660), according to a teardown by iFixit. That memory must be shared between graphics (e.g. textures, etc.), program data from running applications, and operating system data/core apps. The lattermost category -- operating system data/core apps -- consumes 3 GB, leaving only 5 GB left for games and other apps to use . - See more at:

By contrast the Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) PlayStation 4 (which happens to be outselling the Xbox One) has 2 Gbit (256 MB) of memory (via a single dedicated chip) for system tasks, including the OS and core apps according to the results of an iFixIt teardown. It also packs 16 4-Gb GDDR5 modules (K4G41325FC-HC03) from Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KRX:005930) (KRX:005935), for a grand total of 8 GB of GDDR5. - See more at:

By someguy123 on 6/10/2014 5:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
That dailytech article seems to have come to its own conclusions based on nothing. the 2Gb chip is DDR3 and part of the network processor. It is not running the OS off 256mb.

Both consoles eat up 3GB for OS, with the ps4 allowing for an extra 500MB of "flex" memory if demanded, which will theoretically hurt multitasking performance for more game ram.

Theoretical Performance Gain
By enlil242 on 6/9/2014 11:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
I have both systems, so I have no real agenda here, but has there been any publication that proves that a particular game looks or plays better on the PS4?

I mainly game on the PC anyway, (for FPS) but am looking forward to games like Halo and Uncharted 4 on the consoles. Aside from that, the only other console game I am looking forward at this time is Alien: Isolation and will wait to see which system showcases it better (Like I did way back with the NES and Genesis). But just thinking we are getting caught up in specs and not the actual gameplay of the games... So for now, this seems to be all theoretical - and something that we can all argue about on the forums.

RE: Theoretical Performance Gain
By EasyC on 6/9/2014 12:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
There have been quite a few screenshots/videos of cross platform games where you can see the XBO lagging behind in some of the eye candy.

That's about as scientific as you're going to get with the gaming community haha.

RE: Theoretical Performance Gain
By rountad on 6/9/2014 12:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
There are objective numbers out there...

RE: Theoretical Performance Gain
By degobah77 on 6/10/2014 8:44:31 AM , Rating: 2
Having played the same game on both consoles back to back, switching between sources within seconds while playing the same level, there is no noticeable difference between the XOne and PS4. Sure, you can probably post screenshots and critically study still shots over and over to find differences, but no one is doing that while they're playing a game. Console wars, spec wars - it's just 1st world BS to find something, ANYthing to complain about.

RE: Theoretical Performance Gain
By Reclaimer77 on 6/10/2014 9:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like a real scientific methodology you applied there lol. But how about some info?

What game? And on what TV/AVR?

RE: Theoretical Performance Gain
By degobah77 on 6/10/2014 11:06:40 AM , Rating: 2
lol, well that's about as scientific as I feel like getting when arguing about whether there's a hi or low-res shadow on a leaf on a tree down the street that you might see if you pause the game and stare at it for awhile. But anyways, it's Watch Dogs. 60" Panasonic VT60. Denon 2112CI AVR. HDMI1 TV input - only switching HDMI sources on the Denon between XOne and PS4. Sitting about 4.5' away and there's no intelligible difference when playing.

RE: Theoretical Performance Gain
By someguy123 on 6/10/2014 9:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
In watch dogs' case the graphics were dumbed down on every platform for an xbox one render target. You can see in DF's comparisons that even max PC settings look about as bad as the xbox one, which makes no sense at all.

Even with parity across three platforms, you should really still notice the blur, especially on something as sharp as the VT60. For multiplat games the gap isn't gigantic but it is visible, especially for games like MGS5 where you lose half the framerate, or bf4 where objects at a distance turn into jagged legos.

No Matter What
By rocky12345 on 6/9/2014 12:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
It seems no matter what MS does there are going to be people unhappy I guess you can not please everyone. Did they have miss steps on release yes but they are trying to correct the issues some people had with the XBO. I think they should have just kept the XBO the way it was but lowered the price by $50 to make it $450 & people would have been happy ok well most would have been.

As for the power of the 2 units yes the PS4 has GDDR5 & a slightly faster GPU but other than that the remaining hardware is almost the same so if you buy a XBO & enjoy using it & it gives you countless hours of enjoyment then what is the problem. If anyone cares to remember the Xbox360 had mor GPU power than the PS3 & I do not remember seeing this much fuss over it and both consoles sold like hot cakes. It seems now days everyone is so stuck on a spec sheet & whine & complain about every little thing just to be heard by someone else.

BY the way the PS4 spec sheet is not all that good either it uses a low end basically tablet level CPU oops APU yes it is 8 core but by PC standards the CPU's in both the PS4 & XBO are pretty much crap by desktop standards but no one seems to bring that up very much. If I had a desktop gaming system with that low end of a CPU in it I would shoot it & look for a upgrade very fast.

RE: No Matter What
By enlil242 on 6/9/2014 12:42:50 PM , Rating: 2
I got the X1 for $450 with Kinect, plus Titan Fall was included. cannot complain one bit with that price.

Universal Apps
By dashrendar on 6/9/2014 12:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
I guess one thing that might give XBox One an edge over the PS4 is the support for universal apps. If that comes to fruition then the hundreds or thousands of games that are available on Windows Phone become immediately available on the XBox One.

Sometimes you want to just kick back and play one of those old school games on a big screen TV (instead of casting it wirelessly). It would be cool if you could pause the game on your phone and then resume it on Windows PC or X-Box, with extra features, perhaps graphics enhancements.

Sony can learn from its mistakes
By Chaser on 6/9/2014 8:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
They learned from their mistakes during the PS3 era.

Such as its later launch, higher price, more complicated hardware.

Sony learned and has won this round. Although sales numbers may be closer in the U.S. but world-wide Sony always had an edge anyway. But this round they've wrapped it up the U.S. quite nicely.

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