Microsoft has announced a new lower-cost Xbox One bundle -- which comes without its Kinect sensor.
While the new version of Kinect is a ridiculously cool piece of tech -- with a 1080p sensor able to track your heartbeat by watching for tiny colour variations in your skin -- games for the camera have been thin on the ground.
Originally the Xbox One was intended to require the Kinect sensor to be connected at all times. That idea was ditched before the console's release late in 2013.
Now Microsoft appears ready to concede that the sensor is not a vital part of the Xbox One experience for all users, and has announced the new bundle to attract more buyers. It also announced that from June an Xbox Gold account would not be required to use apps like Netflix.
"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.
Today, we’re excited to share more ways your feedback is impacting the products we build."
Microsoft said it was still "committed" to the Kinect -- and would still offer the full bundle with the camera included. It also said it would offer a separate Kinect later in the year.
"Kinect remains an important part of our vision. Many of you are using Kinect for Xbox One every day. In fact, more than 80 percent of you are actively using Kinect, with an average of 120 voice commands per month on each console. Some of the most popular voice commands include “Xbox On,” “Xbox Broadcast” and “Xbox Record That.”
We will continue to offer a premium Xbox One with Kinect bundle to deliver voice and gesture controls, biometric sign-in, instant personalisation, instant scanning of QR codes, and enhanced features only available with Kinect in games such as “Kinect Sports Rivals,” “Just Dance 2014,” “Project Spark” and more."
The £349 Xbox One bundle will be available on June 9.