Microsoft has caught gamers off guard with their latest announcement. Everybody thought the Nintendo WiiU would be the first next-gen console to lower it’s price. But starting on June 9th the Xbox One will be getting a $100 price drop, making the console’s new price $399. Microsoft has made this possible by dropping support of the Kinect motion sensing device, which had been required with the Xbox One until now. However the price drop isnt the only major announcement Microsoft made, they are also implementing a long sought after change in their Xbox Live service, the ability to access entertainment apps without paying for a Gold membership, along with some other perks for those who do sign up for gold.
- Games with Gold. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Games with Gold for Xbox 360 and as a thank you for helping shape the program, Gold members will receive an additional free Xbox 360 game in June. The Games with Gold titles for Xbox 360 in June are Dark Souls, Charlie Murder and a bonus game of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. Games with Gold coming to Xbox One Gold subscribers in June. Xbox One Gold members will have subscription-based access to free games ranging from top hits to indie titles. The program will launch on Xbox One with “Max: The Curse of Brotherhood” and “Halo: Spartan Assault.”
- Deals with Gold will also launch for Xbox One in June, delivering discounts for great games each month, with significant savings for Xbox Live Gold members. The first titles offered in June will include Forza Motorsport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome. With savings of up to 50 – 75 percent off certain titles, this is a program to get excited about for gamers who may want to go back and play some titles they missed.
- Entertainment apps for Non-Gold members. People have been using their Xbox to access popular apps like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO for years, but it could only be done if you were a paying Gold member. Starting in June, anyone with an Xbox will be able to access popular entertainment apps whether or not you have an Xbox Live Gold membership.
Microsoft will continue to offer a “premium” Xbox One with Kinect bundle to deliver voice and gesture controls, as the Kinect remains an important part of their vision, especially considering its crucial necessity for games such as Kinect Sports Rivals, Just Dance 2014, Project Spark and more. A standalone Kinect sensor for Xbox One will also be launched later this fall, in case anyone who buys a $399 consoles changes their mind about Kinect down the road.