Kinect is considered by Microsoft a core feature of the Xbox console. The next generation console was launched on the 23rd of November 2013, but in May Microsoft announced a version without Kinect. The price dropped by $100 to $400 since June 9 and Xbox One sales increased. Microsoft plays it cool and says that even if Xbox One will be sold without the sensor, Kinect’s sales will rise while being sold as a separate accessory, according to Gamespot.com. In the beginning of June, Microsoft’s team announced a number of impressive new features for Xbox One, among which are 45 entertainment apps and Twitter compatibility.
Sony’s Playstation 4 is the leader of gaming consoles worldwide market. Until April 6, Sony sold 7 million units. The last sales number regarding Microsoft Xbox One is from the 31st of December 2013. Until then, 3 million units have been sold and other 5 million units have been shipped to retailers.
Xbox One sales doubled in June, but Microsoft does not offer numbers
Xbox Wire released a declaration containing hints at impressive sales, but without offering real numbers. “Over the past month, we’ve seen a strong spike in interest in our Xbox One console options, including the new $399 offering, and the amazing lineup of games announced during E3. Since the new Xbox One offering launched on June 9th, we’ve seen sales of Xbox One more than double* in the US, compared to sales in May, and solid growth in Xbox 360 sales.” The asterisk mentions that it refers to ‘Internal data based on retail calendar and sold through numbers’.
Without any numerical base for comparison with May sales, there is little to be impressed by. Even if this is true, maybe Microsoft had an unexpectedly low sale figure and did not want to point the weakness. Microsoft might be walking on a fine line with this marketing tactic, as it surely is a risky one.
Offering a Kinect-less version of the Xbox One might have indeed proved to be beneficial to Microsoft if Xbox One sales increased dramatically. For game developers, on the other hand, it will be a challenge, because they will have to bear in mind that some gamers might not own Kinect. On the long run, Kinect’s development will probably suffer, but, in the end, if gamers are not keen on using the accessory, what will be the point to insist?